Virendra Sharma MP (right) is to host a hepatitis C awareness and testing day to mark World Hepatitis Day.
The Labour MP for Ealing Southall and Vice-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Hepatology Group, will be joined by representatives from The Hepatitis C Trust for the event on Monday 28th July.
The Hepatitis C Trust’s policy and parliamentary team have worked alongside Virendra Sharma to organise the event.
A recent report on 'Health and Wellbeing Boards & Hepatitis C' produced by HCV Action, a group run by the Trust connecting hepatitis C health professionals from across the patient pathway, showed that Ealing falls within the top ten worst performing areas in England in terms of hepatitis C prevalence and low Joint Strategic Needs Assessment (JSNA) prioritisation, so the event should present a great opportunity to raise awareness locally.
Ealing's Mayor Tej Ram Bagha will also be attending as well as other local councillors. On the day, The Hepatitis C Trust’s testing van will be offering immediate and confidential testing for those that might be at risk of hepatitis C. A nurse will be on site to connect people testing positive with a local care pathway.
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Charles Gore, The Hepatitis C Trust's chief executive said: "The Hepatitis C Trust welcomes Mr Sharma’s commitment to tackling hepatitis C, especially in the South Asian community, and raising awareness in his constituency of Ealing Southall on World Hepatitis Day.
According to Public Health England data, Ealing has 2,183 cases of hepatitis C.
“Hepatitis C is a curable disease that has long been overlooked, leading to unacceptably low testing and treatment rates. If action is taken now to ensure more people are tested and treated for hepatitis C, there is a real and unique opportunity to eliminate the virus in the next fifteen years".
The hepatitis C awareness and testing day will take place on Monday 28th July from 12noon-4pm at Southall Town Hall.