Every year, on 28 July, the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners mark World Hepatitis Day (WHD) to increase awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases it causes. WHD unites patient organisations, governments, medical professionals, civil society, industry and the general public to boost the global profile of viral hepatitis.
EMCDDA Director Alexis Goosdeel says: ‘The prevalence of antibodies to the hepatitis C virus commonly ranges between 40% and 80% in national samples of injecting drug users in the EU Member States. People who inject drugs frequently accumulate risks, which can increase the likelihood of developing liver‑related problems. Although there are effective treatments available to cure HCV infection, these therapeutic options do not cover enough injecting drug users in Europe. Testing is also insufficient and many remain undiagnosed. The EMCDDA, through its new Strategy 2025, is committed to contributing to a healthier Europe by acting as a catalyst for improving the quality and delivery of responses to reduce the health and social consequences of drug use.’
Under the theme ‘Eliminate hepatitis’, WHD 2017 aims to accelerate progress towards achieving the goal of elimination by 2030 (see Drugnet Europe 99). To encourage people to feel empowered, personally connected and understand their role in elimination, the theme is brought to life through the #ShowYourFace campaign. This personalised photo campaign focuses on individual human faces to highlight that hepatitis is relevant to everyone, everywhere in the world and that helping to eliminate it is something to be supported by all.
For more, see http://worldhepatitisday.org/en/2017-campaign
For more on World Hepatitis Day (28 July), see Drugnet Europe 99, published today: