In observance of the Liver Cancer and Viral Hepatitis Awareness Month 2019, HepaHealth and partner organizations Virtualahan and the Yellow Warriors Society of the Philippines (YWSP) launched an Infoxhibit at SM City Davao. The goal of this 10-day campaign was to increase awareness of hepatitis as a prevalent health issue in the Philippines among shoppers. In addition to providing information about hepatitis, and important goal was to normalize the conversation about hepatitis and reduce the associated social stigma.
Virtualahan is a social enterprise in the Philippines that trains and employs people with disabilities to find meaningful employment in the outsourcing industry. For this Infoxhibit, Virtualahan provided graphic design services and funds to produce the exhibit materials and leveraged its online network to promote and report on the event.
YWSP are a nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to diminishing suffering from Hepatitis B and C through advocacy, research, education, and service. The Davao chapter of YWSP provided volunteers to man the exhibit, engage with the public through information provision and answering questions, and signposting to YWSP resources for those requiring additional information. YWSP also levered their network with local laboratories to sponsor vouchers for Hepatitis testing and treatment to hand out to selected individuals at the exhibit.
SM City Davao is one of the biggest malls in the city, with foot traffic estimated at 10-20,000 unique daily visitors depending on week/weekend days. Exhibition space and panels were kindly provided by SM City Davao, while manpower was volunteered by the YWSP Davao chapter. Healthcare vouchers to allow for hepatitis testing were kindly donated by local laboratories.
Over the course of ten days, we were able to engage roughly 10,000 individuals to disseminate information about viral hepatitis and liver cancer to increase awareness. We also promoted and advocated how the test for hepatitis infection, and how vaccination can protect against hepatitis B. An important objective was to promote public acceptance and reduce the stigma associated with viral hepatitis and liver cancer, by holding this exhibit in a busy public mall. Finally, we aimed to influence positive actions and reduce the discrimination experienced by people living with chronic hepatitis virus, especially in the workplace.