World Hepatitis Day, July 25, 2014
Know Your Status. Get Tested!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ottawa, ON (July 24, 2014) In honour of World Hepatitis Day, Pauktuutit will be joining organizations and community groups across the world to raise public awareness about hepatitis B and C, two forms of life-threatening liver disease. This year’s theme is Know Your Status. Get Tested.
On Friday, July 25, Ottawa organizations and community groups will be hosting a barbecue at Marion Dewar Plaza from 12:00 pm -2:00 pm. There will be free food, games, prizes, and lots of information on liver health, nutrition, testing and treatment. There will also be a playlist of music written by musicians affected with hepatitis. Everyone is welcome.
World Hepatitis Day is an annual event that each year provides international focus for patient groups and people living with hepatitis B and C. It is an opportunity for interested groups to raise awareness and influence positive change in disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.
Red Door Communications in the UK states that ‘500 million people globally live with either chronic hepatitis B or C. Whilst that’s higher than the prevalence of HIV or any cancer, the disease is hugely underfunded, with thousands remaining undiagnosed. On a personal level, the disease is too often ignored and shrouded in stigma.”
Pauktuutit’s Hepatitis C project is focused on awareness and is the first step in the Inuit Five-Year Strategic Plan for Hepatitis C 2013-2018 (http://pauktuutit.ca/hepatitiscawareness).
President Rebecca Kudloo has previously noted that “We all need to know about hepatitis. Traditionally, Inuit are survivors. As a community, we have always known challenges and found a way forward. Hepatitis is a new challenge in our landscape, but we can decide how to educate ourselves and our children about hepatitis.” She continued to say that “We can identify the hepatitis risks in our community and teach ourselves – elders, adults, youth and children – about ways to prevent infection and support people living with hepatitis.”