In recognition of World Hepatitis Day on 28 July 2014, the world’s largest tweet wall was erected in the heart of Glasgow, St Enoch Square, to raise awareness about viral hepatitis and the barriers faced by people living with the disease.
The interactive tweet wall was created to raise awareness amongst the Scottish public and the thousands of people attending the Commonwealth Games. It displayed bricks showing negative aspects of viral hepatitis that people living with the disease face every day. Every tweet and text message sent using the hashtag #thinkhepatitis turned a negative statement into a positive message of support, encouraging people to think again about hepatitis.
“We are very excited to be celebrating World Hepatitis Day at the Commonwealth Games this year,” said Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance. Viral hepatitis rarely gets the visibility it deserves despite killing 1.5 million people every year, the same number as HIV/AIDS.
Presence at such a major international event is therefore crucial to raising awareness on the global stage and challenging preconceptions about viral hepatitis. What’s more, Scotland is one of only a handful of countries worldwide with a comprehensive strategy for tackling all aspects of viral hepatitis. We are proud to be recognising that achievement by celebrating World Hepatitis Day here in Glasgow.”
The event was hosted by the World Hepatitis Alliance, in partnership with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Scottish Government and local patient groups, in order to raise awareness of hepatitis in Scotland and across the globe to improve prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
World Hepatitis Day is one of only four official disease-specific world health days recognised by WHO.
Speaking about the impact of this year’s World Hepatitis Day campaign, Stefan Wiktor, team lead for WHO Global Hepatitis Programme, who attended the event in Glasgow, commented: “Raising awareness about viral hepatitis is the first step to increasing action against this disease. By spreading its message in countries around the world, the ‘Hepatitis: Think Again” campaign will help to build on the growing momentum to fight this pandemic.”
You can watch the video of the event here and find out more about this innovative use of social media in healthcare!