Edison, NJ Launches the B Free Edison Action Coalition for the Prevention of Hepatitis B

May 19, 2008


Mayor Jun Choi, joined by Asian American and public health advocacy groups, launched the B Free Edison Action Coalition for the Prevention of Hepatitis B on May 19, 2008, World Hepatitis Day.

“I am very grateful to all of our partners in this Action Coalition. There is a real and urgent need to address this condition. We are committed to doing everything we can do to create awareness and decrease the number of cases,” said Mayor Choi said.

Edison has the second largest Asian population by locality in New Jersey with over 29 percent of the population of Asian descent compared to 5.7 percent for the rest of the state. The Edison Health Department of Health and Human Services investigates approximately 200 cases of chronic hepatitis B and follows a number of perinatal hepatitis B cases every year. It is estimated that 1,500 to 3,500 – or 5 to 12 percent – of Asians living in Edison may be chronically infected with HBV—the majority of which is undiagnosed.

The B Free Edison Action Coalition for the Prevention of Hepatitis B intends to bring together a larger coalition of community-based organizations, governmental agencies, healthcare facilities, and other partners to begin a dialogue on hepatitis B. The goal is to develop an action plan for the initiation of a comprehensive screening, vaccination, and follow-up care program for the local Asian community and other high-risk Edison residents. The aim is to both slow the progression of the disease by identifying infected individuals and assisting them in receiving appropriate care and to prevent further spread of infection by providing vaccination and education.

“It is our hope that this Action Coalition will play a key role in helping reduce the burden of hepatitis B infection, avert premature deaths, and serve as a model for other communities throughout the nation,” said John Grun, Edison’s director of Health and Human Services.

Articles about the B Free Edison Action Coalition Press Conference:

Hankok Ilbo Newspaper Article 1 & Article 2 (Korean)

Segyu Ilbo Article (Korean)