World Hepatitis Day is observed every 28th of July with an aim to raise global awareness about the Hepatitis virus. World Hepatitis Day is a world-level awareness program launched by the global public health campaign of the world health organization.
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a liver infection and inflammation caused by different viruses. There are five types of viruses named “Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E.” Hepatitis A and E are acute infections and short term disease, while Hepatitis B, C, and D are ongoing and chronic disease with long term infection. This hepatitis virus can lead to liver complications including Liver cancer and liver failure.
Do you why WHO (World Health Organization) chooses 28th July for World Hepatitis Day because 28th July is the birthday of the Noble Prize-winning scientist “Dr. Baruch Blumberg” who discovered the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and more than he also developed the diagnostic test and vaccine for the Virus.
World Hepatitis Day 2020 Theme
This year the theme of World Hepatitis Day 2020 is – “Hepatitis Free Future”
This year’s theme is “Hepatitis-free future,” which will give a strong emphasis on preventing mothers and newborns from transmitting hepatitis B (HBV). On 28 July, the WHO will issue new recommendations on preventing the transmission of the virus from the mother to the child. A safe and effective vaccine can prevent HBV in newborns.
The hepatitis virus has five primary strains-A, B , C, D and E. Hepatitis B and C combined are the most common cause of death, with 1.4 million lives lost annually. Viral hepatitis continues to destroy thousands of lives every day despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
Every year WHO decides the theme for World Hepatitis Day which raises global awareness about Hepatitis. World Health Organization will soon release the new estimate for investments that are needed to achieve hepatitis elimination goals by 2030.
History of World Hepatitis Day
Earlier Hepatitis C was an international awareness day which took place on 1st October 2004 coordinated by various European and Middle Eastern Patient group. However, many patient groups celebrated hepatitis day on different dates, and because of this reason in 2008, World Hepatitis Alliance collaborated with patient groups and declared 19th May first Global World Hepatitis Day. In May 2010, during the 63 World Health Assembly declared World Hepatitis Day and after that, the date of World Hepatitis Day was changed to 28th July. After the adoption of earlier declaration 28th, July was the final date for the celebration of World Hepatitis Day.
Some objectives for World Hepatitis Day
- Encourage people to come forward to access hepatitis prevention, testing and treatment services.
- Raising awareness about different forms of hepatitis and how they are transmitted.
- To make an urge for national and regional policymakers to increase political and financial commitments for hepatitis response.
- Increase awareness about Hepatitis A and B vaccines.
- To provide an opportunity for strengthening prevention, screening, and control of viral hepatitis and its related diseases.
Past Themes of World Hepatitis Day are
World Hepatitis Day 2019 was “Invest in eliminating hepatitis”
-The theme of World Hepatitis Day 2018 was “Test. Treat. Hepatitis”.
-The Theme of 2017 was “Eliminate Hepatitis”.
-The theme of 2016 was “Prevent Hepatitis: It’s up to you”.
-The theme of 2015 was “Prevention of Viral Hepatitis. Act now”.