"Hepatitis B and C is a major health problem worldwide, especially in developing countries. It is a major cause of liver cancer which is the second leading cause of cancer related mortality in the world. Over half a million new cases are diagnosed annually and hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) account for the majority of liver cancer cases. Data from the World Health organization (WHO) reveals that up to 325 million people are living with chronic hepatitis B and C infection.
Let us also not forget hepatitis E virus infection which mostly causes a self-limiting illness, however can lead to liver failure in pregnant women and patients with chronic liver disease, and yet is a vaccine preventable illness.
As the World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO), we seek to raise awareness of viral hepatitis with and through our Member Societies, our Regional Affiliate Associations and all WGO Training Centers.
In 2018, WGO and WGO Foundation (WGOF) dedicated the World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) campaign, to Hepatitis B and C with the specific goal to ensure awareness of prevention, diagnosis and availability of treatment. Through our year-round campaign, WGO and WGO Foundation continued to provide a better understanding and a better management, of this global burden; at WDHD 2019 WGO is devoted to the same aims.
Through the WDHD 2018 campaign, WGO and WGO Foundation (WGOF) look forward to helping to provide a better understanding and a better management, of this global burden.
Hand in hand we can be able to prevent, cure and eradicate Hepatitis B and C in the near future.”
On behalf of WGO and WGO Foundation,
Cihan Yurdaydin, MD
Naima Amrani, MD
Saeed Hamid, MD
World Hepatitis Day is an awareness campaign organized by the World Hepatitis Alliance. World Hepatitis Day is celebrated every 28 July to bring about the awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis, with the primary campaign goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030.
The theme for this year is “Eliminate Hepatitis” and the campaign for 2019 focuses on “Finding the Missing Millions”, a three-year global awareness-raising and advocacy campaign aimed at tackling the main barriers to diagnosis by putting civil society organizations and the affected community at the heart of the solution. All of which will contribute towards progressing WHO’s elimination target of a 30% diagnosis rate by 2020.
What is Viral Hepatitis?
“Acute viral hepatitis (AVH) is a systemic infection predominantly affecting the liver. It is most often caused by viruses that are hepatotropic (hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E). Other viral infections may also occasionally affect the liver, such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), herpes simplex, coxsackievirus, and adenovirus. Whereas hepatitis A and E are self-limiting, infection with hepatitis C and to a lesser extent hepatitis B usually become chronic” - Read more from the WGO Acute Viral Hepatitis Guideline.
How Can YOU Contribute to the Goal of Eliminating Hepatitis By 2030?
Download the World Hepatitis Day 2019 Campaign Toolkit, provided by the World Hepatitis Alliance, to find ideas on how you can participate in the World Hepatitis Day 2019 Campaign here!
Use the following hashtags when posting about hepatitis on social media!
"Viral hepatitis and its consequences (cirrhosis, liver failure, liver cancer, death), have been ignored far too long. Hepatitis B and C alone affect over 1 in 12 of the world’s population and cause more chronic disease and death than HIV, TB or malaria. Both hepatitis B and C are preventable and hepatitis C can be cured. Several countries have made it national policy to completely eliminate hepatitis C, including Georgia, Mongolia, Egypt, Pakistan, Portugal and Australia. It is time to unite and decide to eliminate hepatitis C globally. But to accomplish this, we must first identify the over 70% of infected patients who do not even know that they have hepatitis C. I strongly support World Hepatitis Day and the WHO initiative to over the next three years “Find the Missing Millions” as the first step to achieving this goal.
At the same time we must not forget hepatitis B which affects many millions more and dedicate ourselves to eliminating hepatitis B. We must push for final true universal vaccination, including the birth dose, with a vaccine that has been available since 1982!
Then, like smallpox before it and polio, now down to fewer than 100 new cases in only 2 countries worldwide, hepatitis B can become part of our ancient medical history.rdquo;
- Douglas R. LaBrecque, Past Chair, WGO Hepatology Interest Group
WGO Training Centers
Since 2001, over 3,400 professionals have received training through the various educational programs offered at the WGO Training Centers. Located in developing countries throughout the world, each WGO Training Center provides trainees with the opportunity to enhance their skills and further their education in gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy, oncology, and GI surgery. Each Center offers comprehensive training, ranging from multi-day workshops on special topics to four-year sub-specialty internships that include theoretical courses and practical applications of techniques. The Training Centers promulgate locally relevant knowledge and develop appropriate skills among medical practitioners and health care workers from low-resource countries. Visit www.worldgastroenterology.org/education-and-training/training-centers/centers to discover each of our WGO Training Centers!
Attention WGO Training Centers! Are you planning an activity for World Hepatitis Day? Let us know and be featured in an upcoming issue of e-WGN! Email your event summary and photos to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Supporting WGO Global Guidelines and Cascades
The WGO Guidelines and Cascades library contains over 20 practice guidelines written from a global standpoint and published for viewing and download on the WGO website. Cascade-based guidelines offer various treatment options for diagnosis and treatment depending on the resources available in different parts of the world. The six supporting WGO Global Guidelines and Cascades listed below are available in different languages and focus on hepatitis and related liver disease topic areas:
“Worldwide viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of morbidity and life lost. The WHO has set goals to eliminate hepatitis B and C by 2030. To accomplish these goals, a concerted effort from governments, public health leaders and the public (civil society) will be needed. Sources of funding and experts to implement vaccination of all infants starting with a birth dose worldwide, to train providers to diagnose, link persons chronically infected with hepatitis B and C to care and treatment will be keys to achieving these goals. In addition, public awareness regarding the importance and seriousness of viral hepatitis, the keys to prevent infection through vaccination and other preventive measures and the awareness that viral hepatitis B can be treated and hepatitis C cured.”
-Brian J. McMahon, MD, WDHD 2018 Co-Chair
e-WGN Expert Point of View (EPOV) Articles Hepatology Collection
The e-WGN Expert Point of View (EPOV) articles listed below are a part of the Hepatology Collection and are available for viewing on the WGO Website. Click the article title(s) below to begin reading!
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease – A Growing Public Health Problem
Outcomes and Treatments of Dual Chronic Hepatitis B and C
HIV/HBV and HIV/HCV Co-infection in Sub-Saharan Africa: Transmission, Disease Outcomes, and Treatment Options
WGO Lectureship, Georges Brohée Medal and Lecture: New Views on NASH Pathogenesis – How Should They Inform Management?
From Obesity to Fatty Liver/NASH: Two Parallel Epidemics
New Era of Antiviral Therapy for Chronic Hepatitis C Infection: Implications on Global Health
Part II: Global Burden Of Liver Disease: A True Burden on Health Sciences and Economies!!
Global Burden Of Liver Disease: A True Burden on Health Sciences and Economies!!
Acute Hepatitis E
In collaboration with WGO, the International Coalition of Hepatology Education Providers (IC-HEP) created an audiocast series focused on the management of Hepatitis C in Latin America.
This series includes expert presentations delivered by:
Through educational collaboration with WGO, IC-HEP also created webcasts on Hepatitis C and HCC:
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) - The Liver Meeting® 2019
Visit WGO at booth #1109 at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases - The Liver Meeting® November 8–12, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts!
Additional Resources for More Information
Click on the links below to learn more about World Hepatitis Day and join the global movement!