Urgent help for Santa Clara County Perinatal Hep B Program sign now

Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors
County Government Center
Tenth Floor East Wing
70 West Hedding Street
San Jose, CA 95110

Dear Supervisors,

We have learned that the County Board of Supervisors will be considering a proposal to eliminate the Perinatal Hepatitis B Prevention Program (PHBPP) public health nurse coordinator position in Santa Clara County. We strongly oppose this proposal and believe that the perinatal hepatitis B nurse coordinator is vital to preserving the health of babies and mothers of Santa Clara County.

Chronic hepatitis B (HBV) is a serious infection of the liver that, if undetected and unmanaged, can lead to premature death from liver cancer or liver failure in 25\% of cases. The risk of chronic infection is greatest when transmitted from infected mothers to their newborns at birth. However, this can be prevented 1)by identifying the pregnant women who are chronically infected before they give birth, and 2)by giving newborns of infected mothers 2 shots at birth (the hepatitis B immunoglobulin and vaccine), which can protect these babies from becoming chronically infected and protect them from the risk of premature death from liver disease.

The PHBPP coordinator position is a fully state-funded public health nurse dedicated to addressing this health threat. The PHBPP coordinator is particularly vital to protecting the health of Santa Clara residents because Santa Clara County has the highest rate of births to HBV-infected mothers in the nation. The Centers for Disease Control estimates that each year, there are approximately 800 infants in Santa Clara County born to infected mothers and, if infected, 180-200 will die of a preventable disease. The nurse coordinator monitors these infants to ensure they are protected and educates mothers and family members to prevent disease transmission.

The PHBPP coordinator serves as an important community resource to prevent a disease that takes hundreds of lives in Santa Clara County every year. As members of the community, we whole-heartedly support this important public health program. We hope that you will oppose any efforts to eliminate this vital program or its nurse coordinator. The state mission of the Santa Clara Public Health Department is to serve all people of Santa Clara County by protecting health; preventing disease ... premature death and disability. This nurse coordinator is thus essential to the countys mission to preserve the health and quality of life for the children, mothers, and residents of Santa Clara County.



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Francis MendozaBy:
International PolicyIn:
Petition target:
Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors

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