NHS Lanarkshire has partnered with the British Liver Trust to launch a series of Love Your Liver roadshows across Lanarkshire this summer. The initiative aims to find hundreds of individuals who remain unaware of their hepatitis C infection, a silent disease that can lead to severe liver complications if left undetected.
Recent estimates suggest that approximately 9000 people in Scotland are living with hepatitis C, yet only a half of these cases have been diagnosed. Lack of knowledge and understanding about the virus, including its transmission and available treatment options, contributes to this alarming statistic.
To address this issue head-on, the Love Your Liver mobile unit will stop at ten high footfall locations in Lanarkshire over the next three months, to find those people who have been exposed to the hepatitis C virus. Visitors to the unit will have the opportunity to step aboard the unit and gain valuable information about hepatitis C. Moreover, they will receive a complimentary FibroScan, a non-invasive liver scan, and a swab test for hepatitis C if they are identified as being at high risk of Hepatitis C and liver disease.
In 2015, the Scottish Government made a commitment to eliminate hepatitis C as a significant public health issue by December 2024. Building on this commitment, in 2019, the Scottish Government established a target of attaining elimination even earlier, by the year 2024.
Jonathan Worsfold, project delivery manager at the British Liver Trust, says: "While individuals at highest risk of hepatitis C have been found across most of the UK, there are still thousands in Scotland who remain undiagnosed. Locating these individuals is crucial if we are to achieve our goal of eliminating this disease.
“We are pleased that NHS Lanarkshire has made a commitment to actively seek out those who are currently unaware of their infection. Our message is clear: if you have ever experimented with drugs (even in the past), had unprotected sex with someone who may have the virus, or obtained a tattoo while traveling abroad, we urge you to get tested to ensure your well-being. Effective new treatments are now available to cure the virus, which typically presents no symptoms in its early stages."
NHS Lanarkshire and the British Liver Trust are determined to raise awareness, promote testing, and ensure early detection of hepatitis C in Lanarkshire. By working together, they aim to make a tangible difference to the lives of those affected by this silent yet potentially devastating disease.
Cumbernauld: Wednesday 14th June – Antonine Shopping Centre, G67 1JW
Airdrie: Thursday 15th June – Morrisons, Gartlea Road, ML6 6EF
Coatbridge: Friday 16th June – Outside St Patrick’s Church, Main Street, ML5 3HB
Cambuslang: Wednesday 26th July – Morrisons, 1 Bridge Street, G72 7EA
East Kilbride: Thursday 27th July – Morrisons, 2 MacNeish Way, G74 4TT
Hamilton: Friday 28th July – Morrisons, 5 New Park Street, ML3 0BN
Lanark: Saturday 29th July – Morrisons, St Vincent Place, ML11 7LB
Bellshill: Wednesday 23rd August – Morrisons, John Street, ML4 1RJ
Motherwell: Thursday 24th August – Motherwell Shopping Centre ML1 1RB
Wishaw: Friday 25th August – Caledonian Retail Park, ML2 7UR