Yesterday was World Hepatitis Day, which I only became aware of in the evening. So, I took the occasion to look around and to try learn more about Hep C, which is another of the many diseases where the rich live and poor die. Hep C is a serious problem for many in our communities, and an issue that needs more activists to take up. Hepatitis Day raised some awareness, including my own, but remains hidden under the bed. Now, the morning after, how can global health advocates get Hep C up the agendas of both the ‘decision-makers’ and of the general public? Clearly it’s an uphill struggle – if you visit the WHO website to find some basic facts, http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs164/en/ you get this “Hepatitis C : This fact sheet is being updated. For further information, please e-mail email@example.com”. If WHO can’t even get the basic fact sheet ready for World Hep Day,following a resolution at the recent WHA, getting this issue onto everyone’s agenda is not going to be easy, as some HIV-HCV activists have already learned in recent years. Below is the statement from some of these strong comrades:
This keynote speech from Prof. Michel Kazatchkine, Executive Director of the Global Fund, is excellent. Advancing human rights and increasing the involvement of civil society in health systems walk hand and hand. But more hands are now needed to push past barriers so that all people can reach universal access, and make the Right to Health a global reality.
“Dear members of the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network, Dear friends and colleagues in the fight against AIDS and fellow human rights advocates; Ladies and gentlemen, Good evening: Bonsoir: Let me first extend my very warm thanks to Richard Elliott and the Canadian HIV/AIDS Legal Network for inviting me to give the keynote address as part of this 2nd Annual Symposium on HIV, Law and Human Rights.(2) And allow me to add my congratulations to the winner of the Award for Action on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights, Ralf Jürgens. It is always a pleasure to be among friends in the global health and human rights community who are doing such tremendously important work. I wish to dedicate my remarks to two champions for human rights.”