World Hepatitis Day 2020 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
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 109 million people living with hepatitis B and 13.8 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. Thanks to widespread immunisation programmes, the region has made good progress towards reducing the prevalence of hepatitis B among children, achieving the 2017 regional goal of reducing prevalence to less than 1 per cent in children under the age of five3. Coverage of the birth dose vaccine within 24 hours is 88 per cent, the highest of any global region2.
The World Hepatitis Alliance has more than 35 members across 10 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; 2020 [updated on 17 April 2020], Accessed 17 August 2020
- WHO Western Pacific and WHO South-East Asia published bi-regional training modules on hepatitis B and C screening, diagnosis and treatment
- The World Health Organization’s Western Pacific Regional Office posted a news story on World Hepatitis Day
- A number of key politicians including Philippines senator Pia Cayetano, New Zealand MP David Clark, and Australian Minister of Health, Greg Hunt, helped to raise awareness on World Hepatitis Day by posting on their social media platforms
- Pia Cayetano and Australian MP Tim Wilson also participated in the WHD virtual relay
- Yellow Warriors Society Philippines worked together with the National Parks Development Committee to light the Rizal Monument in Manilla green to help spread awareness for World Hepatitis Day
Member Activity: Australia
People with lived experience of viral hepatitis were placed centre stage in Hepatitis NSW’s World Hepatitis Day activities. A news media interview with speakers with lived experience received local, regional and Australia-wide coverage. People with lived experience also spoke alongside sector leaders and health and research experts on Hepatitis NSW’s online World Hepatitis Day event.
Hepatitis NSW also delivered a popular and well-received workforce development training programme for sector workers and health professionals, and provided health and hepatitis information directly to underserved communities.
They also continued their eye-catching “Clear the Path” campaign — which aims to raise awareness of the hepatitis C cure — at various locations across New South Wales.
Watch Hepatitis SA’s virtual relay video
Hepatitis SA hosted a hybrid event, providing information and education to partner organisers who then facilitated an event with their regular clients. They also ran an online “Let’s go viral” quiz to raise awareness of viral hepatitis and other viruses. Participants were entered into a prize draw to win a stay at a luxury hotel.
Hepatitis SA took part in the WHA virtual relay, and used their social media channels to raise awareness, encouraging followers to join in the conversation using the #WorldHepatitisDay hashtag and #LetsTalkHep.
Hepatitis WA’s 2020 World Hepatitis Day campaign allowed them to reach new audiences. As well as creating an animation for the WHA virtual relay, they launched an innovative coffee cup campaign which saw 25,000 coffee cups printed with messages encouraging people to get tested for hepatitis C distributed to cafes and outlets across the local city and the state.
They also produced a video that played on a prominent screen in their local city’s central business district throughout World Hepatitis Day, and organised games and prizes for clients of their needle syringe programme (NSP) clients.
Watch Hepatitis WA’s virtual relay video
Member Activity: New Zealand
The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand
This World Hepatitis Day, the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand launched a podcast series entitled ‘Let’s Talk Liver’. Hosted by community hepatitis nurse Jacki Seaward, the podcasts features nurses, patients and health care professionals talking about liver health.
In addition, the Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand is running a morning tea competition for GPs and pharmacists aimed at increasing awareness of viral hepatitis among medical professionals.
Member Activity: Chinese Taipei (Taiwan)
Taiwan Liver Research Foundation
Taiwan Liver Research Foundation marked the 2020 World Hepatitis Day with a high-level event calling for the prevention and treatment of hepatitis C to achieve a healthy liver, and improve the quality of life for people living with hepatitis.
They are advocating for a three steps approach to liver health:
✅ Go to screening
✅ Receive treatment
✅ Achieve liver health improvement
The event was attended by the Deputy Director Lin of the Health Bureau of Kaohsiung City Government, Section Chief Chen of the Medical Affairs Division and Chief Zhang of the Health Management Section.
Kaohsiung Research Association for the control of liver disease
Due to the impact of COVID-19, Kaohsiung Research Association for the control of liver disease has had to cancel the planned public health education lecture. However, they were able to conduct a unique and meaningful visit to Yixiang Liver Care Clinic.
Residents of Laiyi Township were able to come to the clinic for a comprehensive screening and liver health checks. In addition, Kaohsiung Research Association for the control of liver disease participated in the press conference on hepatitis C policy organised by the Central National Health Administration.
Yellow Warriors Society Philippines worked together with the National Parks Development Committee to light the Rizal Monument in Manilla green to help spread awareness for World Hepatitis Day.
Member Activity: Philippines
Yellow Warriors Society Philippines
Yellow Warriors Society Philippines moved their activities online due to COVID-19 restrictions, marking World Hepatitis Day with a webinar on viral hepatitis. This high-profile online event was held in collaboration with the Department of Health, Department of Labour and Employment, Hepatology Society of the Philippines, WHO Philippines and Dr. Gia Sison.
Participants and speakers include Dr. Gerard Belimac from Department of Health. Dr. Maria Nerissa Dominguez of WHO Philippines, Dr. Marco Antonio Valeros of Department of Labour and Employment, Dr. Edhel Tripon of Hepatology Society of the Philippines, Dr. Gia Sison Occupational Medicine Specialist, Senator Pia Cayetano, Congressman Alfred Vargas and Senator Bong Go.