An estimated one million people worldwide die each year from complications of chronic hepatitis B infection (CHB), including liver cancer. A disproportionate number of infections and deaths occur in China. The incidence and mortality of liver cancer in Haimen City is among the highest in China, and in the world. A multi-year citywide campaign was aimed at eliminating hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and significantly reducing the number of liver cancer deaths due to CHB in Haimen City, China.
Strategies included a public health information campaign targeting the 1.03 million city residents; specialized health education for leaders and providers to increase adoption of evidence-based HBV management protocols; establishment of health care infrastructure and management systems; and increased prevention and care delivery to key subpopulations (especially pregnant women).
The project developed and deployed broad-reaching public awareness and health education tools and modules to 280,000 households and at community-based events. More than 90% of targeted healthcare providers and 80% of the community leaders/government officials attended educational seminars during the project period (1,441 health care providers; 1,883 local government officials). A centralized registration and management system for pregnant women was developed and instituted, 100% of pregnant women were enrolled (5,407 women over one year), and all infants born to HBV-infected mothers received one dose of HBIG and the first dose of HBV vaccine by 24 hours of birth.
Lessons from the implementation phase of the project include the importance of: gaining early and ongoing support from the local government and health bureau for success in reaching the targeted populations; and having project management by a local, experienced, and trusted health expert to navigate implementation and relationships, and help develop culturally and linguistically appropriate materials.