London, United Kingdom. 5th September, 2012 – The World Hepatitis Alliance has today announced that a global record attempt which took place on World Hepatitis Day involving 12,588 people has resulted in a new Guinness World Record.On 28th July, people gathered at 42 sites in 20 countries and 2 areas to mime the actions of the “See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil” proverb, also known as the three wise monkeys. The proverb is widely recognised across the world to refer to those who deal with problems by refusing to acknowledge them, a theme which record breakers hoped would highlight that around the world hepatitis is being ignored. Approximately 500 million people worldwide are living with either hepatitis B or hepatitis C. This represents 1 in 12 people, yet awareness remains inexplicably low, and the disease is hugely under diagnosed. If left untreated and unmanaged, hepatitis B or C can lead to advanced liver scarring (cirrhosis) and other complications, including liver cancer or liver failure. Together, hepatitis B and C kill approximately one million people every year.“Through becoming record breakers, we’ve shown society, governments and opinion leaders across the world that those fighting against hepatitis have a powerful voice,” said Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance. “This record has united an overwhelming number people, bringing Hepatitis out of the shadows and to the attention of the mainstream public”.The attempt took place within a 24hr period on July 28th to mark the fifth global World Hepatitis Day. Participants stood in rows covering their eyes, ears and mouths in sequence. Individual attempts which contributed to the record varied from modest to the enormous. In Nova Scotia, Canada, a collection of 224 volunteers held their attempt on a helipad overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, whereas in Tamil Nadu, India, 3200 school children mimed the actions in their playground. World Hepatitis Day provides an opportunity for communities all around the world to join together to raise awareness of hepatitis and importantly promote actions to confront it. World Hepatitis Day is one of only four official world disease awareness days endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its 194 member states.
COMMENT by ELPA: The European Liver Patients Association (ELPA) and their member organisations are proud to have supported the World Hepatitis Alliance’s New Guinness World Record in Europe.
World Hepatitis Alliance
The World Hepatitis Alliance provides global leadership and supports action that will halt the death toll and improve the lives of people living with chronic viral hepatitis B and C. Through better awareness, prevention, care, support and access to treatment, our ultimate goal is to work with governments to eradicate these diseases from the planet.
The World Hepatitis Alliance is a Non-Governmental Organisation with over 140 member patient organisations in more than 60 countries. The World Hepatitis Alliance is governed by a board consisting entirely of hepatitis B or C patients and elected by patient groups from the six WHO world regions: Africa, the Americas, Eastern Mediterranean, Europe, South-East Asia and Western Pacific. For further information visit: www.worldhepatitisalliance.org
European Liver Patients Association (ELPA)
ELPA’s aim is to promote the interests of people with liver disease and in particular:- to highlight the size of the problem;- to promote awareness and prevention;- to address the low profile of liver disease as compared to other areas of medicine such as heart disease;- to share experience of successful initiatives;- to work with professional bodies such as EASL and with the EU to ensure that treatment and care are harmonised across Europe to the highest standards.ELPA emerged from a desire amongst European liver patient groups to share their experiences of the often very different approaches adopted in different countries. In June 2004, 13 patient groups from 10 European and Mediterranean Basin countries met to create the association. ELPA was formally launched in Paris on April 14th 2005 during the annual conference of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and now has 21 members from 17 countries.
World Hepatitis Day
On 28 July 2012, the World Hepatitis Alliance coordinated the fifth global World Hepatitis Day. World Hepatitis Day is one of only four official world disease awareness days endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and its 194 member states. The aim for 2012 was to continue to raise awareness of chronic hepatitis B and C around the globe and to drive policy change for improvements in health outcomes for patients through the campaign ‘This is hepatitis… it’s closer than you think’. The theme builds on the previous year’s campaign theme ‘This is hepatitis… Know it. Confront it. Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere.’
For a selection of photographs of the record attempt, please email the World Hepatitis Alliance: [email protected]