Reply to: "identification of chronic hepatitis B"
To the Editor:
We appreciate the letter to the editor regarding our paper on the results of a project offering on-site hepatitis B testing to Chinese migrants in Rotterdam. To take Lai and Liao’s suggestion to screen persons born in Taiwan before 1986 further, we would like to recommend offering screening to all persons born in hepatitis B endemic countries before the introduction of universal vaccination.
Additionally, Lai and Liao rightly observe that primary care providers could play an important role in the detection of chronic hepatitis B infections. To achieve a substantial increase in the number of identified patients with chronic hepatitis B, we feel efforts should be targeted at several healthcare settings. Hwang et al. studied ten thousand patients receiving chemotherapy and found that only 17% were screened for hepatitis B. This shows that besides improving screening rates through outreach programmes and interventions aimed at primary care, room for improvement also exists in the hospital setting.