In an effort to educate newcomers to Canada about hepatitis, a Calgary health clinic has created a tailor-made education program for refugees.

Avnish Mehta of the Calgary Refugee Health Clinic said the program is about not only making sure clients are properly diagnosed, but that they understand how to treat their aliment.

“As they are identified as one of those patients with hepatitis, then they’ll be placed into our program,” he said.

While each type of hepatitis requires different treatments, those with hepatitis B often don’t show symptoms. More than 80 patients have been diagnosed with hepatitis B at the clinic.

“We’ll be able to create a treatment plan as to how we’re going to identify and make sure that that patient is receiving the treatment that they need,” he said.

Mehta said refugees often have so many things to deal with, including finding housing and employment, that their medical needs can fall by the wayside.

“It’s educating them not only on the aliment itself but on the (health care) system as a whole.”