Hepatitis C virus affects over 3 million Americans but studies indicate that 75% of those people infected are unaware of the presence of the disease. Estimates indicate that approximately 150,000 in the US will die from liver cancer and liver disease stemming from viral hepatitis within the next 10 years. According to the CDC, of the 3.5 million people in this country that have the disease, 75% of them are between the ages of 47-67, but unfortunately most of these people are not aware of it (Gravitz 2011). It can remain undetected for many years also due to the fact that it is only identified by one specific test. As the government becomes aware of the epidemic health care issues affecting our community, focus needs to be directed toward new measures and new ideas geared towards the early identification and early treatment of this prevalent disease. New programs need to be established that incorporate the idea that treatment costs in the early stages will prevent increased costs and treatment in the future. Preventing the disease from progressing to advanced stages can decrease the need for aggressive costly treatment as being the only option remaining. According to Soler (2012), a documented vulnerable population within the Miami-Dade area is baby-boomers born between the years of 1945-1965, that’s why the Community health initiative we are proposing will commit to raising awareness of the need of testing for hepatitis as the only method to definitively diagnose and attempt to successfully treat the affection. My community needs to be educated of such risks and information should be provided in their hands as proof of our concern. Our initiative is projected that by April 2014, every individual born from 1945-1965 residing in the Miami Dade County should be contacted either via mail, email, text, phone call etc. and made aware of the health problem as well as information for help at no cost or minimal expense.
Vulnerable Population and
References: Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2012) Hepatitis C Testing for Anyone Born During 1945-1965: New CDC Recommendations. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/features/HepatitisCTesting/index.html Hofmann, W., Sarrazin, C., & Zeuzem, S Miami –Dade County Health Department. (2010) Hepatitis Program. Retrieved from http://www.dadehealth.org/discontrol/DISCONTROLhep.asp Miami –Dade County Health Department Pears, E. (2010). Hepatitis C virus infection: risk factors, diagnosis and management. Nursing Standard, 25(15-17), 49-56. Poll, R. (2012). Hepatitis C part I : Detection and assessment. Practice Nursing, 23(8), 396-400. Soler, E