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World Hepatitis Day


                                     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.

As you may be aware, since 2009 the Canadian Society for International Health (CSIH) has been coordinating a national WHD campaign across Canada, largely funded by PHAC. Unfortunately, their funding to continue the WHD Campaign beyond 2017 has not been renewed by PHAC and they are unable to continue with their coordination role. At this point, little information has been received from PHAC of the status of a nationally-coordinated WHD 2018 campaign in Canada, and whether or not any Canadian organization will be taking the lead from 2018 onwards. No matter the scenario, we sincerely hope that you take up the FINDING the MISSING MILLIONS banner and continue the WHD momentum. For strategic direction and other information, see here: http://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/finding-missing-millions-world-hepatitis-alliance-2018-2020-strategic-plan 

Refer to the World Hepatitis Day Canadian Microsite  (www.whdcanada.org) for ongoing updates on World Hepatitis Day events and check out World Hepatitis Alliance at www.worldhepatitisalliance.org for more information on hepatitis.
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.

Action Hepatitis Canada (formely known as Canadian Coalition of Organizations Responding to Hepatitis B and C) 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


Additional documents

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.

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