The Hepatology Society of the Philippines (HSP) celebrated World Hepatitis Day 2014 in conjunction with The Medical City (TMC) last July 26, 2014 to increase awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis that causes over 1.5 million deaths every year, yet remains remarkably neglected.
The theme of the celebration was “Hepatitis: Think Again” as it stressed the need for people to get tested for hepatitis viruses, to get Hepatitis B vaccine and to receive necessary treatment at the earliest time. The highlight of the event was the free Hepatitis B and C screening and a lay forum on viral hepatitis and liver diseases. An exhibit for World Hepatitis Day 2014 and testimonials of Hepatitis B and C patients were also on display in the TMC hospital lobby from July 26 to August 1, 2014. During the forum, Dr. Jane Ricaforte-Campos, chairperson of the World Hepatitis Day observance, discussed Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease while Dr. Madalinee Eternity D. Labio’s topic was Understanding Hepatitis B and C.
One hundred eighty-two people availed of the free Hepatitis B screening, 172 availed of the free Hepatitis C screening, and 109 patients participated in the forum. Members of the Hepatology Society of the Philippines were present proudly wearing the official shirts with the message - "Viral Hepatitis Does Not Discriminate. Neither Should You". Members of the Yellow Warriors Society of the Philippines (YWSP), the leading patient organization involved in viral hepatitis advocacy, also joined the event at TMC. YWSP is a member of the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) and its former president sits on the Executive Board of the WHA. It conducts awareness programs including the celebration of the World Hepatitis Day as well as work towards increased government support for viral hepatitis services.