World Hepatitis Day 2023 in Europe

A summary of World Hepatitis Alliance members’ World Hepatitis Day activities in the WHO European region

Celebrating World Hepatitis Day in Europe

World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) members in the WHO EURO region were able to effectively raise awareness online and in the media.

ACHIEVE Coalition, Europe 

ACHIEVE shared messages on Twitter generating significant traction. Posts included a video of Mr. John Ryan, Acting Deputy Director General at DG SANTE, which he recorded for the occasion upon ACHIEVE’s request. ACHIEVE emphasized the importance of collaboration to achieve the WHO 2030 targets for viral hepatitis elimination and the EU commitment. Watch the video here.¬†¬†

The organization also encouraged the submission of promising and good practices on viral hepatitis to the European Commission Best Practices Portal. This aligns with the MEP Friends of the Liver Call to Action, supported by ACHIEVE, specifically urging the European Commission to promptly select effective practices to combat viral hepatitis. 

ACHIEVE shared WHD campaign materials across social media channels and highlighted the importance of addressing inequalities in liver prevention linked to viral hepatitis, and how addressing these inequalities is crucial for achieving the 2030 elimination targets, as outlined in ACHIEVE’s inequalities paper. 

Deutsche Leberhilfe, Germany 

Deutsche Leberhilfe created a WHD brochure with information on WHD 2023, its theme, the urgency to act and the difference between hepatitis A to E. The brochure was promoted online and printed and distributed to around 30 patient groups in Germany. The organisation also created German downloadable posters. 

In the media, local radio, medical and general news websites included mention of Deutsche Leberhilfe’s participation in WHD. The two largest German TV channels, ARD and ZDF also interviewed Deutsche Leberhilfe’s Ingo van Thiel about hepatitis awareness. 

Stefan Schwartze MdB, member of Bundestag and Federal Government Commissioner for Patients’ Affairs, posted about WHD on his Instagram channel, and reinforced the news that a free hepatitis B and C test is now available for all German citizens with health insurance from the age of 35, and that efficient treatments are available. This test was introduced in October 2021 and has contributed to improved detection rates of hepatitis B and C in Germany.¬†

Hepatitis C Trust, United Kingdom  

To celebrate WHD, Hepatitis C Trust raised awareness across local councils in the UK. The Trust conducted testing in prisons, provided hepatitis awareness training in hostels and handed out WHD merchandise. Some members of the Trust also contacted their local council to light the city centre up in purple. Over 100 people participated in the testing exercise in the prisons.  

Kyrgyz state medical academy, Kyrgyzstan   

For WHD, the medical academy worked with WHO to conduct testing in their local communities and diagnosed more hepatitis infections than usual. Up to 25 people attended their event for WHD. They utilised WHD media assets to raise awareness and hosted a hepatitis webinar.  

Lewisham and Greenwich NHS Trust University Hospital Lewisham, United Kingdom    

To mark WHD the Trust raised awareness with patients and members of staff using WHD media assets. They had hepatitis awareness posters in strategic areas to attract passers by in the hospital. They also had some engagements from about 12-15 patients and staff, each scanning the QR codes to participate in hepatitis C tests. Some staff also took the codes back to the wards for other people to take part in the test.  

Santé en Enterprise International (SEE), France   

For WHD this year, SEE organised a digital campaign called ‚ÄúAgainst hepatitis, my company is committed‚ÄĚ from 24 – 30 July. The campaign helped strengthen participants’ knowledge on hepatitis through an interactive digital quiz. The campaign called on companies, foundations and private sector organizations to share their actions through videos and photos, and to actively relay the hepatitis message on their social networks.¬†¬†

¬†In addition, a Health Caravan was organised by SEE on 19 and 20 July, in partnership with C√ČMOI and the Ministry of Health in the rural area of Diangobo, Ivory Coast. Through this exercise, SEE raised awareness about hepatitis to the local community and offered multi-disease counselling and screening to over 270 in two days.¬†¬†