World Hepatitis Day 2023 in the Western Pacific

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

Celebrating World Hepatitis Day in the Western Pacific

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

Hepatitis Australia 

To help raise awareness this World Hepatitis Day, more than 60 landmarks across Australia were lit up green to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and to stand in solidarity with people affected by hepatitis B and C. This gesture was not only a tribute to those affected by viral hepatitis but also a powerful call for global decision-makers to prioritise the elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030. The colour green, symbolises life, vitality, and progress, perfectly embodies the spirit of the #NOhep initiative to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030.  

 The buildings that were lit up green to mark WHD included Old Parliament House and the National Museum of Australia in Australian Capital Territory. 

 Australian governments, including the Commonwealth and all State and Territory governments, have pledged to eliminate HBV and HCV by 2030. To achieve this, Hepatitis Australia on WHD called for increased resources for the community response for the ground organisations like state and territory hepatitis organisations. They marked WHD by sharing WHD factsheets and assets which were translated into Chinese, Vietnamese and Arabic. 

Dr Pheav Soren, Cambodia 

Dr Pheav Soren from Vadhanak Vichea Grand Phnom Penh Clinic, Cambodia marked WHD by conducting tests and vaccines for free at the clinic. In total, Dr Soren conducted 180 blood tests and provided 90 vaccinations.  

 The clinic also used WHD logos to create banners alerting people to get tested for hepatitis and to receive vaccinations. 

Liver Disease Prevention and Treatment Research Foundation, Taiwan 

On World Hepatitis Day, the Foundation collaborated with 24 medical institutions to provide free abdominal ultrasound screenings for a total of 4,663 people.  

 In Taiwan, about 13,000 people die each year from chronic liver disease, liver cirrhosis, and liver cancer. Chronic liver disease/ liver cirrhosis and liver cancer are the ninth and second leading cause of death in the country respectively. Of the patients who died of liver cancer about 70% and 20% carried hepatitis B and C virus respectively. 

University of the Philippines Manila, Philippines 

A Hepatitis B and C Model of Care was launched at the WHD celebration in Tarlac City, Philippines, which aims to strengthen hepatitis diagnosis, care, and treatment at primary healthcare facilities in Tarlac through implementing a package of interventions. 

The Model of Care is a partnership between four institutions: the University of the Philippines Manila (through StITCH Philippines), Department of Health Central Luzon Center of Health Development, Provincial Government of Tarlac, and Yellow Warriors Society of the Philippines.  

This multisectoral work shows the collective effort and commitment to achieve hepatitis elimination by 2030. Included in the WHD celebration was a community-based screening for hepatitis B and C conducted free-of-charge by Tarlac Provincial Hospital. Educational resources about hepatitis were provided by Yellow Warriors Society of the Philippines (YWSP), a nationwide, community based advocate representing patient groups who fight to prevent the spread of hepatitis.  

Attendees were invited to sign the ‘Di Na Ako Mag-aantay (I’m Not Waiting) Board to signify their commitment to making change happen so people living with hepatitis can live normal, healthy lives.