“400 million people is 400 million too many”
400 million people worldwide are living with viral Hepatitis B or C, a disease that kills 1.4 million of them every year.
All of these deaths could be prevented. It just comes down to awareness, understanding and prevention – 4,000 lives a day could be saved.
So, on 28th July this year, millions of people across the world will take part in World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness and call for access to better treatment and better prevention programmes and government support. The 28th July was specially selected as the birthday of Nobel Laureate Professor Blumberg, who discovered Hepatitis B.
What is Hepatitis C?
Referred to as the ‘silent epidemic’ Hepatitis C is a dangerous infection spread through the blood. It damages the liver and its ability to carry out essential functions for your body. It can affect the immune and digestives systems, and can even have an impact on the brain.
It is ‘silent’ because some patients can go ten years between contracting the infection and experiencing any symptoms. There is still no vaccine, and the disease affects between 130 million and 170 million people around the world right now.
There can often be a stigmas attached to Hepatitis A, B and C, but with greater education and awareness, we can lobby for better prevention, treatment and understanding.
How Can I Get Involved?
The main priority of World Hepatitis Day is to get information across. Talk to your nearest medical centre about where you can distribute reading materials, and whether they might want to set up a special drop-in clinic on World Hepatitis Day. Download special awareness material here, with detailed infographics on symptoms, prevention and what you can do to help.
Lobby the government on the ’12 Asks’, twelve requests to the government that makes sure politicians are working to tackle the issue of Hepatitis and related deaths.
Get involved on social media. Tweet to @Hep_Alliance using the hashtags #WorldHepatitisDay and #PreventHepatitis and campaign for the #4000voices losing their lives every day.
The World Hepatitis Alliance is asking 4,000 people to stand up and be counted to raise awareness for viral Hepatitis. Together these voices will become a powerful symbol for action. Tweet a picture using the hashtag #4000voices and stand up for hepatitis sufferers everywhere.
Do you think you could have contracted Hepatitis? Visit your nearest out-of-hours clinic in the Richmond area as soon as possible for a test.