33539 The Development and Implementation of a Multilingual Hepatitis C Media and Educational Outreach Campaign Targetting Immigrant Populations in Ontario

Hywel Tuscano, BA, Social Marketing and Program Development, CATIE (Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange), Toronto, ON, Canada

Background: In 2011 CATIE began work on a four-year Ethnocultural Hepatitis C Outreach and Social Marketing project as part of the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Hepatitis C strategy to increase awareness of hepatitis C, reduce stigma, promote equal access to health services including testing and create effective partnerships within communities. It’s estimated that 21% of hepatitis C infections in Canada are among immigrants.

Program background:  The project has produced in-language (English, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese, Urdu and Tagalog) hepatitis C resources including a website, pamphlets and educational curriculum as well as a media campaign in print, radio and online.   Community Development and Capacity Building included the recruitment and involvement of four Community Advisory Councils, training of community facilitators and delivery of two workshops in four languages: Media Literacy, and Immigrant Health and Hepatitis C.  It was important to connect with a confidential multilingual infoline that individuals could access after receiving information from a workshop, the media campaign or website if they could not approach a local healthcare provider or settlement counselor. 

Evaluation Methods and Results:  Between February 18, 2012 and March 31, 2013, CATIE delivered 27 workshops across four communities.  Standard workshop evaluations were used after the delivery of each workshop.  On average workshop participants rated their knowledge of hepatitis C at 4.4 on a scale of 1 (no knowledge) to 10 (expert knowledge) before the workshop. This increased to 8.0 after the workshop – this increase was statistically significant (p<0.01).  Our media campaign, “Hepatitis C. Learn More. Get Tested.” ran in 26 print, radio and online outlets throughout November 2012 and January 2013.  yourlanguage.hepcinfo.cawas launched in November 2012 with content in English, Punjabi, Simplified Chinese, Tagalog and Urdu. This website provides basic information about hepatitis C. Within the first four months the site has received 8058 unique visitors.  Visitors by language: English 1837; Chinese 3517; Punjabi 493; Urdu 454; Tagalog 422.  Four pamphlets explaining hepatitis C transmission and the importance of being tested, written in English and each of the four languages, became available on CATIE’s Ordering Centre at orders.catie.cain December 2012.  Within the first three months 6595 pamphlets were ordered across Canada. Distribution by language: Simplified Chinese 1375; Urdu 2151; Punjabi 1373; Tagalog 1696.

Conclusions:  The project successfully built a media and education outreach campaign through community engagement and capacity building.  Strong response to the project’s available resources online and in print highlights the need for more multilingual health work and information.  Communities showed different levels of response to different media outlets including success with online banners with the Chinese community and radio ads for the South Asian community.

Implications for research and/or practice:  Targeted outreach work and campaigns are important for newcomer and immigrant communities that don’t receive a lot of health promotion and prevention messaging.    While many focus groups and studies have identified stigma around illness, sexual health and drug use, information on these topics remains readily available in all of the project’s resources after community review.