‘Love your liver’ heartfelt campaign in Melbourne’s north-west urges testing and treatment
27 November 2017
Hepatitis Victoria –the state’s peak advocacy and support organisation- has today launched a public awareness campaign ‘Love your liver, live a happy life’ featuring a cute and friendly mascot to alert people to get tested and take control of hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
“It’s a heartfelt campaign urging people to love their liver, and to test and treat viral hepatitis,” Melanie Eagle, CEO of Hepatitis Victoria said.
“The stigma around the disease is still a significant barrier to testing and treatment. Viral hepatitis can lead to chronic liver disease and can be deadly if left untreated. Sadly, up to 6 Victorians die every week of hepatitis related liver disease, a greater number than the state road toll.
“Our aim is to help the community understand that hepatitis isn’t something to fear, that they can feel confident about taking action because hepatitis B and hepatitis C are both preventable. Even for those who have it, hepatitis B can be managed and hepatitis C can be cured,” Melanie said.
This public awareness campaign, which will last over Christmas and into the New Year, is targeting communities in north and west Melbourne and will appear on the back of buses, on supermarket billboards and in social media. North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network (NWMPHN) is strongly supporting the campaign.
NWMPHN CEO Associate Professor Chris Carter said there was a particularly urgent need for people in the area to be tested and treated.
“The hepatitis B rate in the north and west of Melbourne is two thirds higher and the hepatitis C rate 25% higher than the state average,” said A/Prof Carter.
“We know many people are unaware of their status because they have not been tested and this must change if we are going to succeed conquering viral hepatitis B and C by 2030.”
In 2016 the Victorian Government announced strategies for eliminating viral hepatitis B and C as a public health concern by 2030.
A/Prof Carter said it is his goal, and that of his organisation, “…to help people living with hepatitis get the care they need, when and where they need it."