The Hawai'i State Department of Health (DOH) is offering free in-language health educational materials to distribute among Chuukese, Marshallese, Samoan, Tongan and Ilocano communities. Funded by a grant from Kaiser Permanente Hawai'i, the materials were developed in collaboration with partner agencies and community groups to increase hepatitis B awareness, prevention, immunization, and treatment among Asians and Pacific Islanders. It is estimated the grant from Kaiser Permanente Hawai'i will benefit at least 25,000 people in the first year of distribution.
It is estimated that one out of 10 Asians and Pacific Islanders in the U.S. has hepatitis B, compared to one out of 1,000 in the general U.S. population. Since more than half of the people living in Hawai'i are of Asian or Pacific Islander descent according to the 2010 U.S. Census, this means the burden of hepatitis in Hawai'i is very high. According to DOH estimates, 1 to 3 percent of people in Hawai'i have hepatitis B, and approximately 23,000 are living with hepatitis C. Hepatitis B and C are the most common known causes of liver cancer in the state, and Hawaii has the highest rate of liver cancer in the country.
To download the in-language materials for free, go to www.hepfreehawaii.org.