Khaing’s message to others:
Participation is really important. Take on a role and we can create better world!
“I am passionate about health education to increase knowledge and change attitudes towards and I want to be part of a team which paves the way to eliminate viral hepatitis.”
I was born in Myanmar, where I did my Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. After that, I began a Master of Public Health in Bangkok, Thailand. As soon as I graduated, I joined World Vision Myanmar as a Technical Specialist tackling Malaria.
After passing through a number of project cycles, I was promoted to the position of project manager for that project. I had been working in World Vision Myanmar for 2 years, and then I joined Community Partners International in Myanmar as a program Manager for Malaria Programs till mid-2016.
In late 2016, I arrived in Australia looking for a job in the area of public health with the goal of improving the health of the community. I was introduced to Hepatitis Victoria by one of my friends and since mid-2017, I have volunteered for Hepatitis Victoria supporting and contributing to various activities in CALD communities especially Myanmar communities across the Victoria. In addition, I have also worked as a HEPSpeaker since late 2017.
Hepatitis B and C have high prevalence in Myanmar but awareness is diminished disproportionately. Meanwhile, Australia is trying to eliminate viral hepatitis and no community should left behind if we are to achieve that goal. I am endeavouring as best as I can to give informed health education and raise awareness of the disease in the Myanmar and other CALD communities.
As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure”, it is vital to educate on how to prevent viral hepatitis inform on the proper treatment to prevent serious complications. If we test and vaccinate, treat and track we will achieve a community with zero hepatitis.
Hepatitis is manageable, treatable but a stigmatised disease -it can cause serious outcomes like liver cancer, cirrhosis of liver- unless treated properly. Hence, it is crucial to raise knowledge, change attitudes and practice towards viral hepatitis in order to reduce transmission, stigma and discrimination.