In an effort to outreach to the Filipino community and educate them about the dangers of hepatitis B, the Pilipinos of UCSF Student Organization will host a health fair at the Bayanihan Community Center at 1010 Mission St. on April 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
PUSO will be working with the University of California, San Francisco, Hep B Free Collaborative and various UCSF-affiliated organizations to provide health screenings and education related to hepatitis B, cholesterol, diabetes, over-the-counter medicines and herbal therapies. The South of Market Health Center will also be on hand to provide blood pressure tests and information on chronic illnesses.
Jelyn Evangelista, a first-year pharmacy student at UCSF and PUSO co-president, said it is important to outreach to the Filipino community because of the large population in the Bay Area and California. Liver cancer, most likely resulting from a hep B infection, is the fifth leading cause of death in Filipino men.
“We went to educate the Filipino community about what to do if they are infected, and how to prevent an infection or the transmission of the disease,” Evangelista said.
PUSO is one of the oldest registered campus organizations at the University of California, San Francisco, made up of a group of medical, pharmacy, dentistry and nursing students. Its mission is to foster professional and social relationships among Filipino students, faculty and staff at UCSF, and to cultivate awareness of Filipino cultural and health issues in the community.
Jennifer Yen, outreach coordinator for UCSF-SFHBC, said their clinics, which take place the first two Saturdays of the month, are doing well. But she also said that the majority of the patients are Chinese, and it is important for them to find ways to outreach to other Asian communities who are affected by the disease by participating in health fairs like this one.
The San Francisco Hepatitis B Collaborative holds clinics every first and second Saturday of the month. Clinics are located at Mount Zion, the first Saturday of the month, and at China Public Health Center, the second Saturday of the month. Their clinics provide free hepatitis B screenings and low cost vaccinations, in addition to care for chronic carriers.
For more information about the UCSF-SFHBC:
To learn about the S.F. Hep B Free campaign, visit sfhepbfree.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.