HEPscreen > What can we do about it? > Ways to offer screening > The HEPscreen Pilots > Systematic – reaching people from endemic countries using population registers

Systematic – reaching people from endemic countries using population registers

This method uses registration of birth in a medium or high prevalence country or region as a viral hepatitis risk factor. It allows the selection of first generation migrants specifically, compared to outreach in a ‘community’ which is less defined by country of birth and more defined by common ancestry, language, cultural norms and beliefs. In some European countries, municipal or national population registers include country of birth. In some health care services that have patient registers, such as GPs, country of birth is often registered alongside other personal details.

The main advantages of this approach are:

  • The selection of first generation migrants by country of birth

  • The offer of screening via a personal invitation, translated into the specific language of the country of birth (alongside information in the national language)

  • The provision of written information in relevant languages about viral hepatitis, its consequences and the possibility of treatment

As an approach, it is more ‘passive’ in that the expectation is that people offered screening will react to the invitation and come forward. To over come this, this approach can also be supplemented by opportunistic screening – sending an invitation but also offering testing if the same people invited also come to the health service about another matter. As it targets individuals, it also doesn’t raise a great deal of awareness in the population. To overcome this, producing information materials like posters, leaflets and adverts in the media can raise awareness on a population level.

Case study: Using GP registry data in London
The HEPscreen pilot in London used GP registers to invite people born in high/intermediate endemic countries for viral hepatitis screening. Read the Case Study in various languages below.

Case-Study_London_Invitation-via-GP-registers (300kb)