Brighton Pier will turn the colour purple on Thursday 28 July to mark World Hepatitis Day and shine a light on people suffering from the disease across the globe.
The pier will light up at 4pm and the Sussex Hepatology Network will be by the pier all day providing information for people who want to know more about hepatitis – an illness which kills one person every 30 seconds around the globe.
The network is comprised of two NHS Trusts: University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust (UHSussex), covering Brighton & Hove and West Sussex locations, and East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT).
As well as other NHS trusts, they also collaborate with many different partner organisations, all of which are working toward the same goal of eliminating hepatitis C by 2025.
Since 2015 the Sussex Hepatology Network, has delivered more than 1500 hepatitis C treatments to patients and out of all the Networks in England they treat the highest proportion of patients outside of hospital settings, focusing on making treatment as accessible as possible for people across Sussex.
Even during COVID-19 restrictions they managed to maintain hepatitis treatments across Sussex by working closely with all of our partners across the Network.
The World Hepatitis Day campaign this year is called ‘I can’t wait’ and wants to highlight the need to accelerate the fight against viral hepatitis and the importance of testing and treatment for people, and calling for immediate action to end stigma and discrimination surrounding the illness.
Duncan Cresswell, UHSussex, Clinical Networks Manager, said: “It’s estimated that over 66,000 people in England are currently living with chronic hepatitis C infection. If we’re going to eliminate the virus by 2025 it’s incredibly important that we get the message out this World Hepatitis Day that treatment really can’t wait.
“Revolutionary hepatitis C treatments, with cure rates over 95% and low side effects, are available on the NHS and we have a huge network of specialist nurses, peers and partner organisations in Sussex ready to support people through treatment.
“Hepatitis C often affects people suffering some of the worst healthcare inequalities across the country so curing the virus really does make a huge difference to people’s lives.
“With only 2 years before our elimination deadline, we need everyone’s help to get people tested and in to treatment. Please join the fight to eliminate hepatitis C by 2025 by spreading the word and asking anyone worried about hepatitis C infection to speak to their GP or contact the hepatitis C trust for more information.”