PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Roche representatives will work together with the Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church from Saturday, August 18 - Sunday, August 19 to educate the church community about the hepatitis C virus (HCV), including risk factors, the importance of getting tested and possible treatment options.
Preparations will begin on Friday, August 17 when ministry leaders, church volunteers, and Roche representatives convene to review education and testing logistics regarding HCV.
"African Americans have the highest rate of infection with hepatitis C in the country. We are committed to educate and provide free hepatitis C testing to the members of Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church and other local residents to prevent future infections," said Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Alyn E. Waller, Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, Philadelphia, PA.
For the past four years, Roche has worked primarily with African-American community churches nationwide to establish HCV testing programs in congregations across the country. In 2006, screening events took place in 30 communities of faith, and an additional 80 events are scheduled in 2007, with the program also extending to Hispanic and Egyptian churches.
"At Roche, we are dedicated to improving the lives of patients and to the communities where they live and worship," said Frank Griffith, Brand Director, Interferons Marketing, Roche. "By providing this congregation with the tools and information it needs to execute HCV education and screenings, it can successfully sustain this valuable community program in the future."
According to the American Liver Foundation, more than four million people in the United States are or have been infected with hepatitis C, and an estimated 70 percent are not aware they have the virus.
Hepatitis C is one of six identified hepatitis viruses that cause the liver to become inflamed, which interferes with its ability to function, and is generally considered to be among the most serious of the six hepatitis viruses.(1) HCV is transmitted primarily through direct exposure to blood through an opening in the skin or mucus membrane. The hepatitis C virus infects the liver, causing inflammation resulting in damage of the liver tissue.(2) Many people with chronic hepatitis C have no symptoms of liver disease, but if symptoms are present they are usually mild; may come and go over time; and be hard to recognize as related to hepatitis C. Symptoms may include fatigue, liver pain, nausea, poor appetite or muscle and joint pains.(3) Contact your physician if you experience any of these symptoms.
Additional information about hepatitis C can be found by calling the American Liver Foundation at toll-free 800-GO-Liver (465-4837) or 888-4HEP-USA (443-7872), by visiting its Web site at www.liverfoundation.org or by visiting Roche's site: www.pegasys.com .
(1) Mayoclinic.com. September 14, 2005.
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/hepatitis-c/DS00097. Accessed on July
(2) American Liver Foundation. Copyright 2002-2003.
http://www.liverfoundation.org/db/articles/1063. Accessed on July 26,
(3) National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC).
Accessed on July 26, 2006.
Hoffmann-La Roche Inc. (Roche), based in Nutley, N.J., is the U.S. pharmaceuticals headquarters of the Roche Group, one of the world's leading research-oriented healthcare groups with core businesses in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics. For more than 100 years, the Roche Group has been committed to developing innovative products and services that address prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, thus enhancing people's health and quality of life. An employer of choice, in 2006, Roche was named one of the Top 20 Employers (Science magazine), ranked the No. 1 Company to Sell For (Selling Power), and one of AARP's Top Companies for Older Workers, and in 2005, Roche was named one of Fortune magazine's Best Companies to Work For in America. For additional information about the U.S. pharmaceuticals business, visit our websites: http://www.rocheusa.com or www.roche.us.