World Hepatitis Day 2021 in the Eastern Mediterranean
A summary of World Hepatitis Alliance members’ World Hepatitis Day activities in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean region
Celebrating World Hepatitis Day in the Eastern Mediterranean
Despite restrictions on movement and large gatherings, World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) members in the WHO EMRO region were able to effectively raise awareness online and in the media. Many members held webinars and other virtual events to commemorate the day.
About hepatitis and the World Hepatitis Alliance in the WHO EMRO region
Hepatitis affects more than 27 million people in the Eastern Mediterranean, with 15.5 million people living with hepatitis C and more than 13 million living with hepatitis B1. Coverage of the hepatitis B birth dose vaccine is approximately 26 per cent1. Nearly 85,000 people die as a result of viral hepatitis or related complications in the region each year1.
The World Hepatitis Alliance has 31 members across eight countries in the WHO EMRO region. These members work tirelessly to advocate for hepatitis elimination, to raise awareness, and to deliver testing and vaccination services in a range of contexts. You can find out more about them on the World Hepatitis Alliance’s website.
1 Data: CDA Foundation’s Polaris Observatory; 2021 [updated on 1 September 2021], Accessed 1 September 2021
Member Activity: Iran
Family Health Association of Iran (FHA Iran)
FHA Iran marked World Hepatitis Day with an online educational campaign on hepatitis transmission, diagnoses, prevention and treatment.
FHA Iran joined the ‘Point to the time’ NOhep activation. They also took part in the WHA global virtual relay by translating the ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait’ video to Persian to bring the campaign message closer to their community.
Member Activity: Lebanon
Social workers’ Syndicate in Lebanon (SIDC)
To mark World Hepatitis Day, SIDC promoted free testing, advice and treatment services at their sexual health clinic. They also shared a video to encourage their followers to get tested for viral hepatitis.
SIDC joined the WHA global virtual relay with an educational video on hepatitis transmission.
Member Activity: Yemen
On World Hepatitis Day WHF Yemen held a workshop to discuss a draft national strategic plan for viral hepatitis as the first step of the national programme to eliminate hepatitis. The workshop was attended by the Ministry of Health, local pharmaceutical companies and service providers from consultants to liver specialists.
The workshop produced a set of recommendations to accelerate hepatitis elimination in Yemen:
- Periodic testing of university students
- Providing hepatitis B vaccine to all healthcare students and health workers
- Expansion of hepatitis research
- Continued cooperation between civil society and academia
- Prevention measures in health facilities, especially facilities for infectious diseases
- Safe transportation of sharp objects and biomedical waste disposal
- Provide the birth dose for children
- Training of health workers on scientific prevention measures
In addition, WHF Yemen took part in WHA World Hepatitis Day activities.