CanHepC Trainees campaigning for World Hepatitis Day

This past July 28th marked World Hepatitis Day, a global awareness day on viral hepatitis. For this occasion, CanHepC trainees joined forces to organise several outreach activities aiming to raise the profile of viral hepatitis among the public and local communities.

Over a period of 2 days, CanHepC trainees and some staff members took to the streets, posted on social media (Facebook and Twitter), created website posts and advertising in an effort to reach out and engage with as many members of the public and community as possible. Based on the World Hepatitis Alliance campaign theme “Find the Missing Millions”, they chose to focus messaging on people born between 1945 and 1975 (Baby Boomers) as well as foreign born individuals from countries with high rates of HCV infection encouraging them to get tested and informing them about the treatments available.

In Montreal, several information kiosks were set up in strategic locations including the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Montréal (CHUM), Vendôme underground metro station, Du Boisé Public Library and Place Vertu mall on July 27th & 28th. Over 1000 flyers in 3 languages (French, English and Arabic) explaining the importance of getting tested with contact information of a clinic at the CHUM that offers walk-in HCV assessment and treatment were distributed with incentives such as pens and cookies. We were happy to learn that there was a substantial increase in the number of people requesting an appointment to get tested at this clinic following the distribution of our flyers!

In addition, with the help of a local Montreal municipal representative (Francesco Miele) a short presentation was given to senior citizens at “La Place de la Marche” event in Place Vertu mall. In Toronto, several posters were also put up at the Toronto General Hospital near elevators and in several clinics.

To increase awareness further, trainees also contacted their local political representatives and newspapers with a press release and a short video script they prepared (in French and English) encouraging them to make a statement on World Hepatitis Day to be shared on social media. A few representatives from the Toronto area agreed to post the proposed messaging via their social media accounts which helped broaden the reach a little bit more.

The trainees have now their eyes set on next year’s World Hepatitis Day campaign and we are looking forward to know what they will organise.

Congratulations to everyone who participated in this exciting campaign as well as to all our CanHepC members elsewhere that took part in local efforts to raise awareness on viral hepatitis!