In 2010, concerned about the huge disease burden of viral hepatitis, the World Health Assembly adopted the resolution to combat viral hepatitis. This resolution recognises a World Hepatitis Day to draw worldwide attention to the need to be aware of hepatitis, and to confront it by engaging governments, international organisations, businesses, civil societies and individuals in a shared advocacy effort. The goal is to provide an opportunity for education and greater understanding of viral hepatitis as a global public health problem, and to stimulate and strengthen effective preventive and control measures.
Since 2011, 28 July has been marked World Hepatitis Day. This year, the World Health Organization highlighted the theme of “Test. Treat. Hepatitis”. While transmission of viral hepatitis can be prevented through such means as vaccinations, blood and injection safety, and harm reduction, effective treatment of chronic viral hepatitis is now available. It is therefore important to know one’s status and be treated if infected.
With the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat, the Government established the Steering Committee on Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis on 1 July, 2018, with a membership inclusive of experts and professional stakeholders in the area. This Committee will spearhead the effort to devise and follow through an action plan to achieve elimination in Hong Kong.
To promote awareness among health care providers, the Viral Hepatitis Preventive Service of Department of Health organised the Seminar on Viral Hepatitis for Nurses and Allied Health Professionals on 10 April 2018 at the Hong Kong Central Library. The seminar covered a range of topics related to treatment of viral hepatitis, and prevention in the health care environment.
Roving exhibitions on viral hepatitis are also being held from June to August in three separate weeks to promote public awareness of the prevention of viral hepatitis.