Pamphlets on display at La Ronge’s 2016 World Hepatitis Day event. Photo courtesy @GeorginaJoliboisNDP, Facebook.
For World Hepatitis Day, healthcare workers in the La Ronge area want people to know that Hepatitis C can be cured with treatment.
Multiple agencies from the health region, town and band are joining forces to host a barbecue and children’s activities on Friday, which will be accompanied by information sessions and testing for Hepatitis C on the Mobile Health Bus.
Candice Hegland, a community case worker specializing in Hepatitis C and AIDS at the Jeannie Bird Health Centre, wants people to know there’s nothing wrong with getting tested.
“A lot of people are afraid, right? So they feel like if they don’t know then it’s OK. But it’s better just to get yourself tested and know your status,” she said, adding that what you don’t know really could harm both the individual and other people.
A media release about the event states that both Hepatitis B and C can spread through exposure to contaminated blood or bodily fluids containing blood in a number of ways. This includes sharing needles, unsterile body piercing or tattoo equipment, and personal hygiene items.
The La Ronge area has a doctor who visits from Saskatoon every three months to see patients and deliver Hepatitis C treatment, and Hegland said through a 12-24 week treatment “and after you’re treatment you’re cured. You don’t have Hep C anymore.”
The Urban Reserve in the downtown region of La Ronge Avenue will be hosting the events on Friday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.