What is World Hepatitis Day?
World Hepatitis Day is an annual event that each year provides international focus for patient groups and people living with hepatitis B and C. It is an opportunity around which interested groups can raise awareness and influence real change in disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.
The World Hepatitis Alliance first launched World Hepatitis Day in 2008, and since then thousands of events have taken place around the world, generating massive public and media interest. The Alliance has also received support from governments worldwide, high-profile Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and supranational bodies, such as Médecins Sans Frontières.
Following the World Health Assembly in May 2010, it was agreed that World Hepatitis Day would be recognised annually on 28 July.
World Hepatitis Day 2013
Over 35 events took place across Canada, from Halifax to Whitehorse, to mark World Hepatitis Day 2013 ! The events helped bring awareness to viral hepatitis and in some cases onsite testing and vaccination were provided. World Hepatitis Day Canada promotional items, which were designed and developed by members of the 2013 Planning Committee, were distributed across the country. World Hepatitis Day was also accompanied by the National World Hepatitis Day Poster Contest, the winners of which can be viewed on this site: www.whdcanada.org
If you would like to be a part of the 2014 Planning Committee or if you would like to hold a World Hepatitis Day 2014 event, the Canadian Society for Intenational Health (CSIH), the leading organization for World Hepatitis Day in Canada, would like to hear from you! For more information, please contact Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Refer to the World Hepatitis Day Canadian Microsite for ongoing updates on World Hepatitis Day events and check out World Hepatitis Alliance at www.worldhepatitisalliance.org for more information on hepatitis.
We hope to have your continued participation and support.
Backgrounder about World Hepatitis Day
The first official WHO World Hepatitis Day occured on July 28, 2011 to increase the awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes. It provided an opportunity to focus on specific actions such as:
• strengthening prevention, screening and control of viral hepatitis and its related diseases;
• increasing hepatitis B vaccine coverage and integration into national immunization programmes; and
• coordinating a global response to hepatitis.
Hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E can cause acute and chronic infection and inflammation of the liver leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. These viruses constitute a major global health risk with around 350 million people being chronically infected with hepatitis B and around 170 million people being chronically infected with hepatitis C.
The awareness raising effort continued in 2013!
‘This is hepatitis…’ - a theme for World Hepatitis Day
Launched in 2010, the theme this is hepatitis... remains the name of the overarching campaign for WHD The slogan encourages people to recognise how prevalent the condition is, facing the fact that hepatitis is “closer to home” and breaking down stigma. The slogan in 2013 chosen by the World Alliance was ‘This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it.'
In Canada, the slogan chosen for 2013 was
KNOW YOUR STATUS? GET TESTED
So far the ‘Am I Number 12?’ theme has allowed organizations to communicate with a broad audience in a simple way to generate mass awareness around hepatitis B and C.
Thanks to the commitment and passion of the hundreds of patient groups and individuals, the campaigns since 2008 have produced massive results. Thousands of events took place across 61 countries with global coverage reaching an estimated 1 billion people. These results continue to show what a collective effort can achieve and how, when we work together, we can make a real difference.
We urge everyone to learn about the risk factors involved in hepatitis B and C and the need for testing if they think they might have been infected. To find out more, including a list of the activities which occured or continue to be planned across Canada to mark this day and to help raise awareness, please visit:
In Canada, there is currently no national strategy or comprehensive system for care, treatment and prevention of hepatitis B and C. This is unacceptable for a country that prides itself on its publicly-funded universal health care system. To reduce the health and social impact of hepatitis B and C on the liver health of Canadians, we ask federal, provincial and territorial governments to adopt a fully- funded and coordinated national strategy that:
- Promotes prevention of both hepatitis B and C through expanded education, immunization and harm reduction programs all across Canada.
- Improves access to comprehensive care and treatment programs in all areas of the country.
- Increases knowledge and innovation through interdisciplinary research and surveillance to reduce the burden of both hepatitis B and C on Canadians.
- Creates awareness about risk factors, stigma and the need for testing among the general population and at-risk groups.
- Builds capacity through training and recruitment of qualified health professionals.
- Supports communities and community-based groups in developing, delivering and evaluating peer-driven and focused initiatives.
The Canadian Hemophilia Society is a member of the Action Hepatitis Canada (formely known as Canadian Coalition of Organizations Responding to Hepatitis B and C) which advocates for such a national strategy to be created and implemented. To learn more about the Coalition and its actions, please visit the web site www.actionhepatitiscanada.ca
Canadian Government Asks
Recommendations for Quebec decision makers (2012)
World Hepatitis Day 2008 Q & A
“Viral time bomb: Health and human rights challenges in addressing hepatitis C in Canada” (Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network et al, 2008).
Recommendations for a Canadian Hepatitis C Strategy
63rd World Health Assembly resolution on viral hepatitis
'Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis Infection: Framework for Global Action' provides a global vision for the prevention and control of viral hepatitis and outlines four axes for action for regions and countries to develop effective strategies and plans according to their specific hepatitis burden and challenges.
The launch of the framework comes two years after the agreement of a historic World Health Assembly (WHA) resolution on viral hepatitis (WHA63.18) which for the first time described what is expected of governments to deliver improvements in awareness, surveillance, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis.
CBC video and article about Hepatitis C in baby boomers
Globe and Mail article about baby boomers needing to get tested.
The Canadian Liver Foundation recommends that all adults born between 1945 and 1975 undergo a test for hepatitis C. Statement Video
Canadian liver specialists call for a Hep C screening program for baby boomers
Canadian liver specialists have recommended the development of a national strategy to screen baby boomers for hepatitis C in a report published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal.
Hepatitis: Are you number 12?
Hepatitis affects one in twelve people around the world and can cause liver damage, cancer and even death. For the most part, Hepatitis is a silent disease which is why it is so important to get checked. A Canadian Press release on WHD.
Get your city to proclaim July 28 Hepatitis Awareness Day! Here are examples:
City of Vancouver 2010 Proclamation
City of Toronto 2009 Proclamation and 2011 Proclamation
City of Ottawa 2012 Proclamation
World Hepatitis Alliance Newsletters: