Secondary Logo

Share this article on:

World Gastroenterology Organisation (WGO) News and Events

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: May/June 2018 - Volume 52 - Issue 5 - p 1–2
doi: 10.1097/MCG.0000000000001029

World Gastroenterology Organisation, Milwaukee, WI

The author declares that there is nothing to disclose.

Address correspondence to: James Melberg, World Gastroenterology Organisation, 555 East Wells Street, Suite 1100, Milwaukee, WI 53202 (e-mail:

Back to Top | Article Outline


Viral Hepatitis, B and C—Lift the Global Burden



Viral hepatitis causes an inflammation of the liver due to a viral infection. Most cases of viral hepatitis are contracted through 1 of 5 viruses including, hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis D virus (HDV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV). Of the five hepatitis viruses, all can cause acute hepatitis; however, only HBV, HCV, and HDV frequently cause chronic hepatitis which can lead to liver cirrhosis and to liver cancer.1

Data from the World Health Organization reveals that an estimated 325 million people worldwide are living with chronic HBV and HCV infection. In 2015, 1.34 million deaths were caused by viral hepatitis, a number comparable with deaths caused by tuberculosis and HIV. Approximately 1.75 million people were newly infected with HCV in 2015; whereas an estimated 257 million people, mostly adults born before the introduction of the HBV vaccine, were living with chronic HBV in 2015.1

The WGO will seek to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, B and C, through its annual public advocacy and awareness campaign, WDHD. WDHD is celebrated each year on May 29 with associated events, activities, and initiatives continuing throughout and beyond the campaign year. WDHD will provide gastroenterologists, hepatologists, their patients and the lay public, with an understanding of the latest basic and clinical research in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and curability of viral hepatitis, B and C. This campaign will endeavor to inform physicians, pharmacists, allied health professionals, health care payers, and the public of the prevalence, risk factors, and causes of viral hepatitis, B and C. Most especially, we want to ensure that we present an evidence-based and patient-centered approach to prevention and diagnosis of viral hepatitis, B and C. Moreover, we want to ensure awareness of the disease, its management and the availability of treatment is raised in countries where viral hepatitis, B and C, is being newly or increasingly diagnosed.

The WGO’s task will be supported by a Steering Committee with a global perspective. The Steering Committee will provide expertise on viral hepatitis, B and C, guiding the course of the campaign and the development of the educational and training materials. In collaboration with WGO Member Societies, WGO Training Centers and Regional Affiliate Associations, the Steering Committee will define this global initiative and provide the resources to sustain the effort throughout the year.

Through a multifaceted campaign, the WGO will provide simple messages for the general public to assist them in understanding how viral hepatitis, B and C, affects one’s daily life and its importance in one’s health. Second, the WGO will develop information for health care professionals, both the generalist and the specialist with emphasis on health care professionals in low-resource, developing regions. Multiple informational pieces are planned and will be distributed worldwide, for patients and health care professionals, in several languages. The WDHD 2018 campaign is titled viral hepatitis, B and C: lift the global burden. Through the WDHD 2018 campaign, the WGO looks forward to helping to provide a better understanding and recognition of viral hepatitis, B and C, as a global burden. Please join us in ensuring its success.

On behalf of the Co-Chairs of WDHD 2018, Yun-Fan Liaw (Taiwan) and Brian McMahon (USA), Chair of the WGO Foundation (WGOF) and President-Elect of WGO, Naima Amrani (Morocco), WGOF Vice Chair, Richard Hunt (UK), and the 2018 Steering Committee, Joost Drenth (the Netherlands), Gamal Esmat (Egypt), Suliman Fedail (Sudan), Jordan Feld (Canada), Graham Foster (UK), KL Goh (Malaysia), Saeed Hamid (Pakistan), Paul Kwo (USA), Douglas LaBrecque (USA), Guilherme Macedo (Portugal), Rosmawati Mohamed (Malaysia), Shiv Sarin (India), Jose Sollano (Philippines), Wendy Spearman (South Africa), we look forward to a productive and successful campaign in providing a global perspective on Viral Hepatitis, B and C.

Back to Top | Article Outline


WGO and WGOF invite you to start planning your WDHD 2018 event today! Although the official date of WDHD 2018 is May 29, many events will take place throughout the year. We challenge you to get involved in the campaign by creating exciting ways to advocate and raise awareness of viral hepatitis, B and C, all year long. Below are a few way that you may Take Action and Celebrate in your respective community. WGO and WGOF are appreciative of all campaign participants and for your continued efforts to support the WDHD campaign. To learn more about WDHD 2018 today, visit!

Back to Top | Article Outline


  • Host an academic conference or symposium featuring scientific programs, plenaries, poster presentations and/or forums on viral hepatitis, B and C.
  • Create viral hepatitis prevention toolkits for health care professionals and the general public.
  • Organize a public awareness campaign and disseminate campaign materials through blogs, podcasts, videos, and brochures.
  • Create your own way to TAKE ACTION to support WDHD, and share with us!
Back to Top | Article Outline


  • Host a walk-a-thon to rally your community in support of WDHD.
  • Generate viral hepatitis awareness by developing a social media campaign.
  • Engage your local media with podcasts, public service announcements, press releases, radio advertisements, and/or TV interviews.
  • Create your own way to CELEBRATE WDHD, and share with us!

Please visit to officially submit your event for inclusion on the WGO meetings and events calendar. Your event may be featured on the WDHD 2018 events and success stories webpage, and in e-WGN, the official newsletter of WGO. To read the latest issue of e-WGN, please visit

Back to Top | Article Outline


On May 29, WGO and WGOF will celebrate WDHD with a 24-hour social media blitz, beginning at 00:00 GMT/UTC. Every hour of the day, WGO will post content to engage with followers around the world. To join the conversation in support of WDHD 2018, snap, post, and share original photographs and videos of WDHD 2018 celebrations and/or wear blue in support of the campaign. Tag WGO on Facebook (@WGOFWDHD) and/or Twitter (@WGOF_WDHD), and be sure to include #WDHD2018 in the post. We encourage you to connect and interact with us on LinkedIn too (search World Gastroenterology Organisation), as WGO and WGOF are now officially part of the LinkedIn community. To learn more about how to interact with WGO on social media, visit

For more information about WDHD 2018 or to obtain the WDHD 2018 logo, please email the WGO Secretariat at

Back to Top | Article Outline




The next WGO International Conference, Gastro 2018—WGO/GAT International Conference: Global Perspectives in Gastroenterology, will be held in partnership with the Gastroenterological Association of Thailand (GAT), together with the Thai Association for the Study of the Liver (THASL), the Thai Neurogastroenterology and Motility Society (TNMS), and the Thai Association for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy (TAGE). Gastro 2018 will be held December 5 to 8, 2018, in Bangkok, Thailand. For more information, please visit the meeting website at

Back to Top | Article Outline


1. WHO Global Hepatitis Report, 2017.
Copyright © 2018 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.