News Release

6/8/00

HDHHS to Receive Funding for Hepatitis C and Asthma

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) has received funding for two important local public health issues, hepatitis C and asthma. The grants were awarded by the Texas Department of Health with funds provided by the tobacco settlement.

The HDHHS Hepatitis C Assessment Project was awarded $144,332 to conduct surveillance studies on hepatitis C. The first funding period ends August 31, 2001 with the potential for additional funding through 2003. The department requested $279,469 for the project. The final scope of work for the grant has not been completed but will include serosurveillance studies of high and low risk populations. Other sources of funding are also being sought to expand the project.

The second grant of $86,424 will fund the establishment of a surveillance system on the prevalence of asthma among school age children. The project will collaborate with the local asthma coalition, school nurses and administrators, physicians and parents of young children to ensure that asthma screening, prevention and treatment are available. The first funding period ends August 31, 2001 with the potential for additional funding through 2003.

HDHHS has sought funding for these projects for several years. Very little local data currently exists on either topic. The ultimate outcome of surveillance studies is the development of prevention and intervention strategies will improve the overall health of the community.