Raising Awareness of Viral Hepatitis

Raising Awareness of Viral Hepatitis

It is the World Hepatitis Alliance’s job to raise awareness of viral hepatitis and the impact it has on people and the wider health system

Viral hepatitis is one of the leading global killers worldwide, accounting for 3,500 deaths each day.

While we have undoubtedly come a long way from the days when viral hepatitis was almost entirely neglected on the global health agenda, there is still a long journey ahead.

Today, 325 million people are living with this disease and only 11% are aware of their condition. Raising-awareness and educationing key groups is a vital component of our work. Together with our members, we work tirelessly to do this, but more needs to be done. We would love for you to get involved in our awareness-raising activities. Contact us on contact@worldhepatitisalliance.org to find out how.

WORLD HEPATITIS DAY, JULY 28

Each year, we coordinate World Hepatitis Day (WHD), a global awareness day we pioneered in 2008. WHD is the culmination of year-long initiatives, when communities join forces and engage in actions big and small with the aim to increase people’s understanding of viral hepatitis and effect much needed change in their countries.   

To make WHD a success we work with our members, WHO Member States, civil society, doctors and communities to ensure activities are happening around the world. In particular, we are working to see that governments participate in WHD, in line with the commitment they made in the World Health Assembly Resolution 63.18.

Since its official recognition from WHO in 2010, the global awareness day has grown enormously. In 2016, 174 countries celebrated the day, with 105 national governments and 59 WHO Country Offices partaking in activities.

If you would like to be involved in the next WHD, get in touch with us at contact@worldhepatitisalliance.org. You can also find out more about past WHD events by accessing our WHD summary reports here.

NOhep

NOhep is a global grassroots movement aimed at bringing all stakeholders together to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. Launched in 2016, NOhep firmly positions itself at the forefront of the elimination conversation, showcasing exemplary leadership, fostering on the ground innovative solutions and taking action to support the policy change needed to eliminate the cancer-causing illness by 2030.

Being a part of NOhep means being part of the solution, because only together can we achieve a world with NOhep. Together with our members we are committed to grow the movement by continuing to provide the secretariat, secure financial resources and build strategic efforts.

To find out more about the development of NOhep and its global launch, watch this short video. You can also follow us on Twitter / Facebook and sign up to NOhep here.

USING DATA TO RAISE AWARENESS

Consistent and reliable data is an important element of any awareness campaign and advocacy efforts, which in turn drive effective action on the ground. Unfortunately, many governments, multilateral organisations and civil society still don’t know the true extent of the impact of viral hepatitis and the lack of consistent and reliable data has often been cited as one of the main challenges.

Here at WHA, we use our influence to advocate for reliable data to be published and seize all opportunities to disseminate it. Find out more about our surveys below.

HCV Quest

Understanding the impact viral hepatitis has on a patient’s personal and social life is central to combatting this global disease so in 2014, we commissioned a global patient survey to investigate how viral hepatitis C can impact patients’ lives as well examine patients’ experience of care.

This HCV Quest survey revealed a shocking reality and the findings are still being used in global and national patient advocacy to challenge governments and health policy makers to do more to fight viral hepatitis.

It was conducted over six months between July and December 2014, translated into 35 different languages and has been made available online and in hard copy to patient groups and physicians around the world. The findings have been developed and translated into a global report and 22 local country reports. Find out more here.

COUNTRY RESPONSE PROFILE ON VIRAL HEPATITIS B AND C (2016 - 2017)

Following the adoption of  the Global Viral Hepatitis Strategy, we are working with WHO to assess governments’ response to the epidemic through a Member State comprehensive survey. WHO will publish the results in a report entitled “Country Response Profile on viral hepatitis B and C (2016 - 2017)”, which will be launched in 2017. In parallel to this, we are conducting our own civil society survey to gauge what is REALLY happening on the ground from the perspective of our NGO members.

The areas of focus for our civil society survey are:

  • the level of our members’ engagement in their government’s response to viral hepatitis
  • the level of stigma and discrimination affecting people living with viral hepatitis in their country and what their government is doing about it
  • the level of access to diagnostics and treatment

If you are a WHA member and haven't completed the survery, click here.

Findings will also be released in 2017. 

CELEBRATING HUMAN STORIES

Viral hepatitis represents a huge problem and the statistics around this disease are alarming; 400m people living with it, 1.4m dying each year, only 5% diagnosed to date and less than 1% receiving life-saving treatment. Yes, these numbers tell a story but they don't tell all of it. 

At the World Hepatitis Alliance we believe that in order to drive real action, to raise awareness and to address the social injustice of viral hepatitis we need to look beyond the figures and into the stories of people affected by this disease. As such, we support people living with viral hepatitis by empowering them to tell their stories through testimonials, case studies, photos and videos. Through those stories we aim to connect emotion with the urgent need for change particularly when it comes to stigma and discrimination. If you'd like to share your story please contact us at contact@worldhepatitisalliance.org.

 

The Deadly Link: Viral Hepatitis and Liver Cancer

We all know what cancer is and the impact it can have on people’s lives. In terms of figures, cancer currently accounts for 8.2 million non-communicable disease deaths per year, second only to cardiovascular diseases (17.5 million). Saying it’s a huge problem is an understatement.

Viral hepatitis is responsible for 80% of liver cancer globally. Hence, much of this burden could be taken away if only governments took strong action to address it. Having in mind that a cure exists for hepatitis C and that we have an effective vaccine and treatments for hepatitis B, we could stop liver cancer in its tracks and change so many lives.  Hence, it is incredibly important we get this message out there. Elimination of viral hepatitis is possible and its impact on liver cancer deaths would be significant. Action must be taken now.