Hepatitis Delta: Educate - Understand – Test it

 

 

Kautz5, a non-profit project and consulting company in the health sector, launched a pilot project called “Hepatitis Delta: Educate – Understand – Test”. This project brings together various stakeholders from the medical field, health policy and culture to use their expertise to raise awareness of hepatitis D (HDV) and call on people potentially affected by it to get tested.

The Campaign

According to the WHO, 5% of people living with hepatitis B are suffering from hepatitis D co-infection. This dangerous co-infection can lead to severe chronic conditions in 70-90% of all cases. It is expected that a large proportion of vulnerable groups have little or no knowledge of how hepatitis D is transmitted and its connection to hepatitis B, leading to low demand for testing.

The aim of the project was to raise awareness about HDV amongst vulnerable communities, provide education and encourage them to seek testing and care.

The target population of this project were Mongolian communities living in Germany. Although the overall prevalence of hepatitis delta is very low in Germany, the prevalence in the Mongolian community in Germany may be much higher due the prevalence of anti-HDV antibodies among HBsAg+ patients being 41 – 67 %.

As hepatitis is still a taboo in some communities, Kautz5 had to make sure they raised awareness in a culturally sensitive way. This involved them partnering with various Mongolian associations as the population targeted for this project were Mongolians living in Germany.

The project also involved inviting well known Mongolian associations to a roundtable to discuss their experiences of HDV within communities and ways to advocate and raise awareness through the project. The associations showed great interest and expressed their willingness to support the project. With the help of the Mongolian community, Kautz5 were able to determine the kind of information they would use when raising awareness via social media. They concluded that World Hepatitis Day would be the best day to launch the awareness campaign. They used WHA materials, posters, fact sheets and explanatory videos. There were also able to publish content on the Facebook pages of the various Mongolian associations.

Lastly, Kautz5 were able to hold a meeting with the Mongolian embassy in Germany and the German Federal Ministry of Health. During the meeting the speakers emphasized the importance of bilateral collaboration among stakeholders to increase awareness of hepatitis D, increase the number of at-risk people tested, and reduce the spread of this viral disease.

Achievements

Through the project, Kautz5 were able to reach 80% of the targeted group.

Challenges

Similar to the majority of the world, the recent Coronavirus pandemic greatly affected the project. They were unable to carry out important tasks and it was difficult to hold more important meetings.

Key to success

Kautz5 believe that involving targeted communities right from the beginning of any campaign is the best way to guarantee success.

Feedback

A representative of the Mongolian embassy and an officer of the Federal Ministry of Health praised Kautz5 for their fight against HDV through this project.

If you would like to find out more information, please contact kautz@kautzhoch5.de