BOSTON, July 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Students at Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brown University, Massachusetts Asian & Pacific Islanders (MAP) for Health and local employee volunteers of Quest Diagnostics will join elected officials, community and healthcare leaders and Boston residents to once again rally the city of Boston as part of a global, synchronized action to highlight the need for greater awareness of hepatitis risk, prevention and treatment. The public health event will take place from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sunday, July 28th at Chinatown Park (Rose Kennedy Greenway) and is part of the World Hepatitis Alliance's Guinness World Record attempt to have the most people participate in 24 hours at multiple venues around the world.
To view a video encouraging Boston to join Sunday's rally in ChinatownPark, click here.
Participants and community families are also invited to add their brush strokes to a community art project to paint a colorful mural that will be donated to South Cove Community Health Center. The mural, designed by MAP for Health's own Narong Sokhom, will represent the 'See No Evil', 'Hear No Evil', 'Speak No Evil' theme to highlight that hepatitis B and C need greater attention and action around the world. The South Cove Community Health Center is dedicated to providing healthcare services to underserved patients, particularly Asian and Pacific Islanders, and encourages onsite hepatitis B screening and vaccination.Last year, Boston recorded nearly 100 participants, helping the World Hepatitis Alliance achieve Guinness World Record status for the first time with more than 12,000 strong worldwide. They asked the Boston team of volunteers to help them do it again this year. "Globally and here in the United States, hepatitis is a silent epidemic. Awareness can be prevention, it's that simple," said Jennifer Chen, Co-President of Team HBV at Harvard College. "We're proud to work with MAP for Health, Quest Diagnostics and others to share the message locally and promote awareness internationally." "Millions of people in the United States are unaware of their hepatitis status, and are at serious risk for severe complications including cirrhosis of the liver, liver cancer, and death," said Salim Kabawat M.D., Clinical Pathology Regional Medical Director, New England, Quest Diagnostics. "Quest Diagnostics is proud to again team up with Team HBV student volunteers, MAP for Health and the community leaders and residents of Boston – and those rallying around the world on Sunday – to do what we can to improve public health and protect those we love." According to the World Health Organization (WHO), hepatitis is inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. In particular, hepatitis B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people. Together, they are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. Worldwide, 350 million people have chronic hepatitis B and 170 million have chronic hepatitis C. As infectious diseases, hepatitis B and C can be transmitted sexually, from mother to child at birth, and from blood-to-blood contact.