Hepatitis C nurses and staff from the AIDS Committee of North Bay & Area (ACNBA), Réseau Access Network Sudbury and the Sault Ste. Marie Group Health Centre was in Wawa yesterday. Despite the cool windy day, people enjoyed a BBQ lunch featuring hot dogs, chili and juice.
This M*A*S*H tour “Mobilizing Access to Services for Hepatitis” is a whirlwind, five-day tour visiting the northern communities of Espanola, Wawa, Pic Mobert, Chapleau, Cochrane, Timmins and Kirkland Lake from September 12 – 16, 2016.
ACNBA nurse practitioner, Keri McGuire Trahan explained that this tour offers not only a testing opportunity but provides an opportunity to discover what other services there are to support an individual with Hep C. Hep C can be detected by a blood test, which if positive means that an individual has to be tested further to determine the progression of the disease and treatment. That could mean a needle biopsy of the liver, or with a piece of equipment that travels between these communities and similar to ultrasound can detect the ‘firmness’ of one’s liver.
If your liver is the consistency of ricotta cheese – soft, that’s good. But if your liver is like a fine, aged cheddar – hard, you would experience medical issues and treatment necessary. There are effective medications out there, expensive and possibly out of reach for some of the people who suffer from Hep C – but this is a slow acting disease, and there are options to get help. It was explained that there has never been an instance where a client was unable to get treatment despite their financial circumstances.
This Mobile M*A*S*H unit travelled to Pic Mobert last night and is now headed on the road again.