Celebrating World Hepatitis Day in South-East Asia
Despite restrictions on movement and large gatherings, World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) members in the WHO SEARO region were able to effectively raise awareness online and in the media. Some members were still able to hold scaled-back and socially-distanced educational, testing and vaccination events.
National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh
NFLB engaged many institutions and stakeholders on WHD to raise awareness of the elimination of viral hepatitis in Bangladesh, including the Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, Bangladesh, Hepatology Society, Dhaka, Bangladesh, as well as other gastroenterologists. The Director General of Health Services, Government of Bangladesh, participated in the NLFB programme.
As part of their campaign, there was special emphasis on PMTCT, where they engaged the Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society of Bangladesh, and the Bangladesh Midwifery Society. Through this they increased awareness and testing amongst women in college for PMTCT.
They engaged the Health Reporters Forum of Bangladesh to amplify and disseminate viral hepatitis messages to key communities. Messaging was also developed and disseminated to the medical community by Bangladesh Medical Students’ Society (BMSS).
NLFB engaged and raised awareness amongst the youth community by working with Youth Club Bangladesh.
Cumilla Liver Club
Cumilla Liver Club in Bangladesh provided free Hepatitis B surface antigen screening and hepatitis B vaccination in Cumilla Medical College Hospital and Cumilla Liver Club. 81 people were screened, 36 people were vaccinated.
The organization also conducted a rally through the streets of Cumilla.
Chennai Liver Foundation
Chennai Liver Foundation organised many events for WHD, and had a month-long celebration through July.
About 12 screening & vaccination camps were conducted in various places and close to 1300 people were reached in this one month alone.
A massive Walkathon was conducted on 24th morning in a popular beach. Members were dressed up in a no hep T-shirt and hepatitis awareness leaflets were distributed. Close to 4000 leaflets were distributed in a period of 3 hours.
On 27th a quarter page write up about viral hepatitis, authored by the Foundation was published in a daily newspaper – Times of India (TOI). TOI has a daily distribution of 400,000. It clearly has reached so many in the city of Chennai in one day alone.
They held a meeting with the President of Rotary International, Rtn.Jennifer Jones. She launched a massive hepatitis vaccination drive. WHA Chief Executive Cary James joined on a pre-recorded message and addressed the gathering. Chennai Liver Foundation discussed why hepatitis should be eliminated. Rtn James was thoroughly impressed and pledged that she will take this movement forward and promised Rotary will do all it can to eliminate hepatitis. Jennifer Jones shared photographs on her respective social media about hepatitis.
Dr Prashanth B Nirvani Rao, Chaitanyaa Gastro Intestinal Care and Endoscopy Centre,Tumkur, India
Dr Prashanth B Nirvani Rao gave a talk on World Hepatitis Day 2022 on the topic of raising awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis, the importance of prevention, vaccination, early detection and early treatment. There were also local screening tests for hepatitis and free Liver Function tests.
Additionally, the organization took part in raising awareness of WHD on social media and released awareness raising videos around the day.
They engaged local newspapers, such as Prajapragathi newspaper, who shared coverage to raise awareness of hepatitis. The article reached approx. 70,000 people.
Dr. Anupa Ghosh ACMS Howrah (HWH) Eastern Railway
Eastern Railway’s Howrah Station in Kolkata, the oldest and largest railway complex of India, was lit up with green light.
The team at Howrah Railway raised awareness for hepatitis screening and treatment, with an event organised by Dr Anupa Ghosh ACMS. A march was held in the station, and posters and banners were displayed. A hepatitis elimination pledge was signed as well amongst employees and daily commuters
They also shared a video was for the WHD Global Virtual Relay.
MED Charitable Trust
Dr. Dhevahi.Elumalei from the MED Charitable Trust helped to organise a free hepatitis screening camp for disabled people and gave hepatitis B vaccination for free to family members, paramedical technicians, nurses and food handlers.