London: The World Hepatitis Alliance, and its supporters today asks the public, the hepatitis community and governments to raise awareness of the 4000 people who die from viral hepatitis every day. Causing significantly more deaths than HIV/AIDS, some 1.4 million people a year could be saved if the elimination of viral hepatitis were to become a reality.
Speaking on the fifth official World Hepatitis Day, World Hepatitis Alliance President, Charles Gore, commented: “The global burden of viral hepatitis can be overcome only when the world is united in action. This is why we have partnered with WHO and the Scottish Government to bring together WHO Member State health ministers and policy-makers, patient representatives, civil society, global funders and patients to advance the global hepatitis agenda.”
Viral hepatitis is the seventh leading cause of death worldwide and yet there has been a remarkable lack of global awareness and action to combat the disease. The World Hepatitis Summit is being held in order to upscale the world’s response to hepatitis and to address the need for a global forum to examine public health approaches to the disease.
Top of the agenda for the inaugural Summit is the development of the global hepatitis elimination strategy. Following the WHA67.R6 resolution adopted at the 67th World Health Assembly in 2014, WHO Member States have committed to developing and implementing national viral hepatitis strategies and called on WHO to develop a global strategy. Currently in review, the ‘Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis, 2016–2021’ will be finalised for consideration by the 69th World Health Assembly in 2016.
About World Hepatitis Day
World Hepatitis Day is one of only four official disease-specific world health days recognised by WHO. World Hepatitis Day was launched by the World Hepatitis Alliance in 2008 in response to concern about the lack of priority for hepatitis as a global killer and became an official WHO day in 2010 at the 63rd World Health Assembly.
For World Hepatitis Day 2015 the World Hepatitis Alliance launched a new campaign, 4,000 Voices, to create better awareness and understanding of how every day 4,000 people around the world will needlessly die from viral hepatitis, an almost entirely preventable disease. By using the hashtag #4000Voices and signing-up to the World Hepatitis Day Thunderclap, people are being encouraged to contribute their voice to help raise awareness around the prevention of hepatitis. Each tweet that includes the campaign hashtag will plot the users public profile picture onto a mosaic map to visually represent the scale of the problem.
About The World Hepatitis Summit 2015
The World Hepatitis Summit is a joint World Hepatitis Alliance and World Health Organization event hosted by the Scottish Government and in partnership with Health Protection Scotland and the Glasgow Caledonian University. The World Hepatitis Summit provides a unique platform to strengthen the hepatitis community voice, assist countries in developing national hepatitis action plans and to raise the global profile of viral hepatitis. As a platform to improve the creation and implementation of action plans through sharing of best practice, the World Hepatitis Summit will directly support the WHA67.R7 resolution.-PR