A local woman, passionate about educating Mandurah’s migrant community about hepatitis B has been selected to co-host a national symposium on the virus in Melbourne.
The conference, held on May 8-9, aims to teach attendees from around Australia about the importance of providing adequate community information sessions.
Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. It can be passed on from mother to child during childbirth.
Since October 2016, Virginia Pitts has been an ambassador for Hepatitis WA – a non-profit community-based organisation providing free services to people.
In that time, Ms Pitts has held 12 informative sessions for migrants living in the Mandurah community.
Ms Pitts is also the Peel Multicultural Association president and said her role has helped her reach the broader migrant community across the region.
She said due to its increased population of migrants in Australia had been red flagged as a hotspot for the virus.
“There isn’t enough awareness. I wasn’t aware when I first came here,” she said.
While hepatitis B has never affected Ms Pitts or her family, she said it was important that fellow migrants learnt about the virus.
Ms Pitts said hepatitis B was one of the leading causes of liver cancer.
Through her role as ambassador, Ms Pitts has also organised free blood tests for Mandurah locals.
For more information on the virus or on the national symposium visit the Hepatitis Australia website or contact their information line via 1800 437 222.