Programming Connection

Hepatitis C Ethnocultural Education, Outreach and Social Marketing Program 

CATIE
Ontario
2015

What is the program?

CATIE’s Hepatitis C Ethnocultural Education, Outreach and Social Marketing Program is a hepatitis C awareness and educational outreach program for immigrants and newcomers in Ontario. The program works with four communities (Chinese, Pakistani, Punjabi and Filipino) and in four languages (Simplified Chinese, Urdu, Punjabi and Tagalog). The program’s immediate goal is to increase knowledge and awareness of hepatitis C and increase testing among immigrants and newcomers in Ontario; its ultimate goal is to increase capacity in immigrant and newcomer communities to address hepatitis C.

This program was initiated as a four-year provincial pilot in 2010, funded by the AIDS and Hepatitis C Programs of the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-term Care. It became an ongoing program with provincial funding in 2014. The Public Health Agency of Canada provides funding to print and distribute resources for use outside of Ontario.

The program addresses the information needs of immigrants and newcomers. In the program’s first four years, CATIE developed and implemented a multi-level strategy across four communities in Ontario: Chinese, Pakistani, Punjabi and Filipino. The strategy includes three major interconnected areas of work:

  1. Education and outreach
  2. Development and distribution of multilingual education resources
  3. Media campaigns

The program takes a community development approach, which includes meaningful community involvement; engagement and partnerships with settlement, community and religious organizations; and a commitment to health equity.

Although hepatitis C is the main subject of the program, CATIE has taken a broader approach to immigrant and newcomer health rather than focusing only on this single health issue. This approach acknowledges the various factors that affect people’s overall health, including the social determinants of health, settlement stress, health literacy and access to healthcare.

The program started with one full-time program coordinator. A team of 16 bilingual facilitators representing the four priority communities and community advisory councils have been critical to guiding the program and delivering outreach and educational activities. In the first three years, an education and outreach coordinator was hired for six months of the year. This position became full time in the fourth year of the program.