Celebrating World Hepatitis Day in the Western Pacific
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) members in the WHO Western Pacific region were able to effectively raise awareness online and in the media. Monuments across the region were also lit up green to raise awareness of WHD, and some members were still able to hold socially-distanced face-to-face events.
About hepatitis and the World Hepatitis Alliance in the WHO WPRO region
The Western Pacific accounts for 40 per cent of all chronic viral hepatitis cases worldwide1, with 108 million people living with hepatitis B and 14.4 million with hepatitis C2. More than half a million people die as a result of viral hepatitis or related complications in the region each year2. Coverage of the birth dose vaccine within 24 hours is 89 per cent, the highest of any global region2.
The World Hepatitis Alliance has more than 39 members across 9 countries in the WHO WPRO 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.
2 Data: CDA Foundation’s Polaris Observatory; 2021 [updated on 1 September 2021], Accessed 1 September 2021
- The Island nation of Niue announced it is on track to become the first country in the world to eliminate viral hepatitis.
- Malaysia has become one of the first countries in the world to embark on a Hepatitis C (HCV) self-testing programme.
- The Cambodian Ministry of Health and MSF set up a hepatitis C screening and treatment programme in Phnom Penh and Battambang province.
- The Government of Hong Kong announced further steps towards the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B under the theme ‘Stop mother-to-child transmission to realise a hepatitis B-free generation’.
- Hepatitis ACT celebrated 25 years of existence with a mural on resilience and hope.
- Bulgarr Ngaru Medical Aboriginal Corporation, Burnet Institute and the Australasian Society for HIV, Viral Hepatitis and Sexual Health Medicine (ASHM) partner to eliminate hepatitis C in Aboriginal communities in New South Wales.
- Australia’s Minister for Health, Greg Hunt MP, shared ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait’ message in his official World Hepatitis Day address.
Member Activity: Australia
Hepatitis Queensland marked the day by providing a total of 15 grants to local organisations to hold World Hepatitis Day events. They engaged with local policymakers by securing a press release from the Queensland Health Minister, holding four meetings with local members of parliament, and sending 92 letters to politicians across Queensland
Hepatitis Queensland also launched a digital marketing and social media campaign to launch their ‘Get Smart about your liver’ animation. ‘Get Smart about your liver’ mascot Detective O’liver made an appearance in the WHA global virtual relay. They did four radio interviews across Queensland and ensured 27 local landmarks were lit up green to raise awareness of the World Hepatitis Day
To recognise World Hepatitis Day 2021, Hepatitis Australia collaborated with many Australian organisations, research institutes and professional bodies to spread the word that with an estimated 340,000 people in Australia live with hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
A series of in-person and digital events took place around Australia, as well as some international webinars and Asia-Pacific regional events. Some of those events are now available on-demand.
Hepatitis Australia launched a World Hepatitis Day Fact Sheet which features the latest stats on hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and vital steps for Australia to eliminate hepatitis. In addition, Australia’s Minister for Health, Hon. Greg Hunt MP shared an inspiring World Hepatitis Day Message with the community.
Hepatitis SA Launched a ‘Stop B. Cure C.’ quiz this World Hepatitis Day with a goal to educate the public about viral hepatitis. Participants were first given information on viral hepatitis risks, prevention, testing and treatment, after which they were quizzed on the information they just learned. Two participants were selected to win a voucher for holidays in a local holiday park.
Hepatitis SA submitted a video for WHA global virtual relay.
Member Activity: China
Inno Community Development Organisation
On July 28, Inno “infiltrated” a factory of 1,200 workers making luxury clothing for big western brands. They educated employees on hepatitis through a mini-game and found that the misinformation, superstition, belief in fake treatment and discrimination due to the lack of knowledge can be easily spotted through the quiz answers and during the conversation.
On the same day, the Secretary General of INNO joined as a key speaker in the biggest hepatitis livestream of the year which garnered 24,000 viewers. He and the Inno team worked together to deliver a public awareness speech about hepatitis and the related discrimination. Hundreds of live participants popped up to ask how they can stop job discrimination and get better access to the hepatitis B vaccine.
Inno Community Development Organisation joined WHA activities by taking part in the global virtual relay.
Member Activity: New Zealand
Hep C Action Aotearoa
Hep C Action Aotearoa celebrated a world’s first this World Hepatitis Day. The government of Niue announced that the whole nation has been tested for hepatitis thanks to a programme carried out in part by Hep C Action. Niue tested 90% of the isnad’s adult population for hepatitis B and C. The testing was carried out in conjunction with the country’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout.
They tell us more about their work in their WHA global virtual relay video.
Member Activity: Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
Taiwan Hepatitis Information & Care Association
Taiwan Hepatitis Information & Care Association took part in WHA global virtual relay.
Taiwan Liver Research Foundation
The Taiwan Liver Research Foundation submitted an educational video for the WHa global virtual relay.
Member Activity: Philippines
Yellow Warriors Society Philippines (YWSP)
YWSP joined Dr. Anna York Bondoc in a live event on Facebook and YouTube to talk about how they raise awareness and fight the discrimination faced by the thousands of Filipinos who are living with hepatitis B. They shared advice on what to do if you test positive positive, how to keep your job or find a job, and how to remain strong, brave and mentally positive.