CHINATOWN — Residents are invited to a special event offering a wide range of free health services and cultural performances.
The Asian Heritage Month and Hepatitis Awareness Festival takes place from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at Chinatown Square, 2133 S. China Place.
Among the services offered will be screenings for blood pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and glucose, as well as basic physicals.
Representatives with Midwest Asian Health Association, the nonprofit group organizing Sunday's event, said the annual fair is designed to raise awareness about Hepatitis B, a liver disease that researchers say disproportionately affects Asian populations.
The group says more than half of the estimated 1.4 million to 2 million people infected with Hepatitis B in the United States are Asian-American, and Asian-Americans are nearly three times more likely to develop liver cancer than Americans of non–Asian descent.
Nearly one out of 12 Asian-Americans is infected with chronic Hepatitis B, with a greater prevalence in those who are born outside the United States, according to stats from the association.
"Despite these life-threatening facts, a significant proportion of Asian-Americans remain untested, untreated and unvaccinated. Alarmingly, 65 to 75 percent of chronically infected people are not aware they have Hepatitis B, so awareness and education are critically needed," the group said in a news release.
Also planned for Sunday are a series of cultural performances, including ceremonial lion and dragon dances, martial arts demonstrations, Chinese calligraphy and more.
The event serves as a kickoff to Asian Heritage Month. It's co-hosted by the Hepatitis Coalition of Illinois, the Chinese-American Association of Greater Chicago, the Chinese-American Service League and the Chinatown Chamber of Commerce.
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