Community Strategy for Hepatitis B, C, and D Screening and Linkage to Care in Mongolians Living in Spain
Mongolia has one of the highest viral hepatitis infection (B, C, and D) rates in the world. The aims of this study were to increase awareness of this disease and promote viral hepatitis screening in the Mongolian community living in Spain. Through a native community worker, Mongolian adults were invited to a community program consisting of an educational activity, an epidemiological questionnaire, and rapid point-of-care testing for hepatitis B and C. In those testing positive, blood extraction was performed to determine serological and virological parameters. In total, 280 Mongolians were invited to the program and 222 (79%) attended the event: 139 were women (63%), mean age was 42 years, and 78 (35%) had viral hepatitis risk factors. Testing found 13 (5.8%) anti-HCV-positive individuals, 1 with detectable HCV RNA (0.5%), 8 HBsAg-positive (3.6%), and 7 with detectable HBV DNA (3.1%). One additional individual had HBV/HCV co-infection with detectable HBV DNA and HCV RNA. Two subjects had hepatitis B/D co-infection (0.9%). The knowledge questionnaire showed a 1.64/8-point (20.5%) increase in correct answers after the educational activity. In summary, a viral hepatitis community program was feasible and widely accepted. It increased awareness of this condition in the Mongolian community in Spain and led to linkage to care in 22 participants, 50% of whom were unaware of their infection.
Mongolian community; Community program; Viral hepatitis screening
Palom A, Almandoz E, Madejón A, Rando-Segura A, Pérez-Castaño Y, Vico J, et al. Community Strategy for Hepatitis B, C, and D Screening and Linkage to Care in Mongolians Living in Spain. Viruses. 2023 Jul 5;15(7):1506.
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