Doctor Dut's important message for South Sudanese Victorians
Doctor Garang Dut has joined forces with Cancer Council Victoria as part of an important campaign to encourage South Sudanese Australians to get tested for hepatitis B.
In his heartfelt video message the surgeon-in-training said that hepatitis B can be treated if it's found early and urged everyone from South Sudan, and their families, to get tested.
"Many people from the South Sudanese community have the hepatitis B virus," Dr Dut said.
"It often shows no symptoms, but if left untreated can progress into something more serious.
"One in four people with untreated hepatitis B will develop liver damage or liver cancer.
"This is why it is vital that everyone born in South Sudan and their families get tested for hepatitis B.
"A simple blood test from your doctor will help to identify if you have the virus so it can be treated.
"People with hepatitis B can lead healthy lives if it's found early."
Dr Dut's upbringing in South Sudan influenced his decision to study medicine in Australia.
"I spent most of the first 18 years of my life living in refugee camps where there was not adequate healthcare," he said.
"There I witnessed how preventable diseases like hepatitis B can silently develop into liver cancer.
"Thankfully it doesn't need to be this way because hepatitis B vaccination and treatment is available in Australia.
"I urge you to please do something for yourself and your family. Talk to your doctor about hepatitis B.
"Your life could depend upon it."
Globally, viral hepatitis is responsible for 80 per cent of liver cancers.
Cancer Council Victoria recommends that anyone from countries with a high or intermediate prevalence of hepatitis B get tested. This includes people from the Asia, Pacific region, Africa, Central and South America, Eastern and Southern Europe, Caribbean and the Middle East.
For information in Arabic or Dinka (or languages other than English) call 13 14 50. When you call, say your language and ask for Cancer Council Victoria.