The Health Services Authority and Cayman Islands Red Cross will offer free health screenings for hepatitis on Tuesday, 30 July, from 9am to 1pm at the Red Cross Administration Offices, Cayman Corporate Centre on Hospital Road.

The health screenings are part of the organisations’ observance of World Hepatitis Day, which takes place annually on 28 July.

“Many infected persons are unaware of their condition, as a result, awareness and availability of testing and treatment is the most important gap to be addressed,” said HIV and STI Programme Coordinator Laura Elniski. “World Hepatitis Day is an opportunity to increase efforts on hepatitis, encourage actions and engagement by individuals and organisations and highlight the need for a greater response. The hepatitis test is quick, easy and confidential; a small sample of blood and results are available within a couple of days.”

Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus that can lead to chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis and liver cancer. Along with hepatitis C, hepatitis B is the second major killer infectious disease after tuberculosis, and nine times more people are infected with the disease than HIV. It is most commonly spread from mother to child at birth or through horizontal transmission, especially from an infected child to an uninfected child during the first five years of life.

Testing for hepatitis and the hepatitis B vaccine are offered at all HSA facilities (Cayman Islands Hospital, Faith Hospital in Cayman Brac and the district health centres) to persons of all ages. Treatment options are available for persons who are tested and found positive.

For further questions, please call Laura Elniski at 244‑2507 or email [email protected]