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World Hepatitis Day in scotland was marked by a large amount of related activity.
- A national 'Hep-tathlon' Event was held at Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow.
- A viral hepatitis information line was launched by NHS Inform.
- A new-look Hepatitis Scotland website, including a dedicated HepB Scotland section that mirrors the existing HepC Scotland site, was also launched.
- An event in Fife was part of an international World Record attempt for World Hepatitis Day. This involved participants across the world doing the 'Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil' 3 wise monkeys action, highlighting an international lack of focus on testing and treatment of viral hepatitis.
- In the week following World Hepatitis Day a series of web seminars involving Scottish experts in the field was broadcast live on the internet.
- A person affected by Hepatitis C, Peter Moore, also completed a '3 Peaks Challenge' on Ben Nevis so as to raise greater awareness of hepatitis.
On Friday July 27th, over 200 sportspeople descended upon Scotstoun Leisure Centre in Glasgow to take part in the national 'Heptathlon' Event to mark World Hepatitis Day. Taking place on the same day as the opening ceremony of the London Olympics, a sport/healthy living theme was chosen and this ensured that along with raising awareness about viral hepatitis, a fun day out was had by all.
Teams were entered from across Scotland, including Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Lothian, Fife and the Highlands. Aside from a football and badminton tournament, people were also able to access classes or taster sessions in Yoga, Massage, Tai Chi and Dance Therapy - as well as have fun playing the Wii Olympics. Information stalls provided on the day included various hepatitis services across Scotland, information on hepatitis services from across the country, healthy living stalls on sexual health, smoking, drugs and alcohol; as well as a benefits information stall.
The event was opened by Dr. Mary Hepburn, The Glasgow Evening Times Scotswoman of the Year 2012, who spoke about the need for greater awareness of viral hepatitis in Scotland - and the importance of increasing access to testing due to the large numbers of people still undiagnosed. Balloons were released, 1 in 12 of which were red, signifying the number of people worldwide who have been affected by viral hepatitis. The event was reported in the Glasgow Evening Times and on the STV news website. You can check out the STV coverage here.
A raffle in aid of the Children's Liver Disease Foundation was also held on the day.
The event was organised by Hepatitis Scotland, the Hepatitis C Trust, Waverley Care and Addaction.
Hepatitis Scotland succesfully broadcast 3 web seminars in the week following World Hepatitis Day. The seminars involved key experts from across Scotland talking about the themes of testing and treatment, mental health and Hepatitis B. The web-based easily accessible seminars were watched from around the country, including the Orkneys. The seminars were recorded and are accessible through the links below.
1. Testing and treatment Dr Ewen Steart and Dr John Dillon
2. Mental health and hep C Dr Michael Gotz and a person whose mental health was affected by Hepatitis C
3. Hepatitis B Professor David Golberg, Smita Grant and Sau Mei Fong
In conjunction with World Hepatitis Day, NHS Inform have launched a new 24 hour telephone information line for people looking for more information on viral hepatitis. The line is manned by NHS Inform staff and will be able to answer any question you may have around hepatitis B or hepatitis C, as well as directing you to local support services. Hepatitis Scotland assisted with the development of the service.
The number 0800224488 is listed on our website www.hepatitisscotland.org.uk.
On Saturday the 28th of July the Hepatitis C Trust and C-Clear Addaction Fife participated in the World Hepatitis Alliance's global Guiness World Record attempt. . The aim of this activity was to highlight the often huge under diagnosis of viral hepatitis by having the most people performing the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” actions in 24 hours, at multiple venues around the world, on World Hepatitis Day. At an event in Lethan Glen, Fife, services users, their families and staff from C-Clear Addaction Fife and the Hepatitis C Trust joined thousands of people around the world in taking part.
On Sunday the 29th of July Peter Moore, who has been affected by hepatitis C, completed his 'Three Peaks Challenge', scaling Ben Nevis in order to raise community awareness of the virus and raised money for the Hepatitis C Trust in the process. He climbed Mount Snowden on the 27th July and Scafell Pike on the 28th.
You can read all about Peter's exploits in his blog - as well as see photographs of him complete the challenge taken at the summit of Ben Nevis by visiting his blogpage - http://3peaks4hcv.blogspot.co.uk/
On World Hepatitis Day, Hepatitis Scotland relaunched a new look website which now incorporates the HepCScotland website, along with a mirror HepBScotland. This includes a service finder tool which enables users to locate hepatitis services for testing, treatment and support - from every healthboard area in Scotland. Visit www.hepatitisscotland.org.uk to access all of the the above.
These websites provide in depth information and resources for the public, patients and professionals working in the field of viral hepatitis.
Waverley Care have now begun provision of hepatitis C support services across the Greater Glasgow and Clyde area. From Monday the 30th of July they will be offering Peer Support, drop in and buddying to hospital appointments from their office at 12 Queens Crescent, Glasgow, G4 9AS. You can call them on 0141 332 2520. The full service will open at the beginning of September.
For those who used to attend C-Level services, this is the same address and telephone number and many of the same staff and volunteers are still there to give you any assistance you need.
In the lead up to World Hepatitis Day (July 25th, 2012), the World Health Organisation issued new guidance on prevention of hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections among those who inject drugs.
The WHO recommends 4 actions for countries to take:
1. Offer people who inject drugs the rapid HBV vaccination regimen, which takes 3 weeks to administer the 3 doses, instead of 6 months;
2.offer people who inject drugs incentives to increase uptake and completion of the HBV vaccination schedule;
3.implement needle and syringe programs to provide low-dead-space syringes that retain less blood after use; and
4.offer peer interventions to people who inject drugs in an effort to reduce incidence of viral hepatitis.
The WHO has recommended that this guidance is 'implemented in phases, consistent with the level of resources available'. It does not recommend psychosocial or behavioural interventions for people who inject drugs because there is no evidence that these measures are effective at reducing hepatitis rates.
Parallels are also drawn to measures taken to reduce the spread of HIV among injecting drug users. "Most of the interventions that prevent HIV transmission between people who inject drugs are virtually the same as those for preventing viral hepatitis B and C," Gottfried Hirnschall, MD, director of the WHO Department for HIV/AIDS, said in a WHO news release. "So it makes sense to reduce the risk of both infections by linking viral hepatitis prevention with HIV prevention, care and treatment."