28th July, 2019 - World Hepatitis Day

Viral hepatitis is one of the biggest global health threats of our time. World Hepatitis Day, observed on July 28 every year, aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis.

28th July, 2019 - World Hepatitis Day
World Hepatitis Day 2019 Theme

Every year “World Hepatitis Day” is observed on July 28, to raise national and international awareness related to hepatitis disease and to encourage activities by individuals, partners and the public to achieve global elimination goals of hepatitis ailment by 2030 (reducing new infections by 90% and mortality by 65% compared with the 2015 baseline).

This particular date that is 28 July was chosen because it is the birthday anniversary of Dr. Baruch Blumberg (Nobel-prize winning scientist) who discovered the B virus (HBV) of hepatitis illness and discover and developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for the Hepatitis virus.

What is hepatitis?

Hepatitis disease is an inflammation (swelling) condition the liver organ. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to chronic hepatitis, which can lead to progressive scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) or liver cancer. Hepatitis viruses of 5 types- hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis C virus (HCV), hepatitis D virus (HDV) and hepatitis E virus (HEV) are the most common cause of hepatitis in the world.

Of these hepatitis B and C are prolonged infections that may not show symptoms for a long period, sometimes years or decades and then become the root causes of liver cancer. Implementation of prevention and treatment interventions within the context of the universal health coverage framework will reduce infections and deaths due to hepatitis B and C.

World Hepatitis Day 2019: Theme  

The theme of World Hepatitis Day 2019 is “Invest in eliminating Hepatitis”. The theme focuses on the hepatitis removal goals by 2030, in the context of the universal health coverage. The country that will host World Hepatitis Day 2019 is Pakistan. In Islamabad, Pakistan, the global event will be held on 27-28 July 2019.

Do you know?

  • Mostly, 90% of new hepatitis B infections arise through mother-to-child transmission and even through during early childhood.
  • Other high risk groups are:
      1. people who injects drugs;
      2. men who have sex with men;
      3. people who have had tattoos or acupuncture;
      4. partners of people living with hepatitis B;
      5. Health care workers.

Facts related to Hepatitis Disease -

  • Viral hepatitis virus B and C are major health challenges that cause 96% of the mortality from viral hepatitis.
  • More than 60% of liver cancer cases are due to late testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C infections.
  • 325 million people are affected by viral hepatitis B and C, globally, which causes 1.4 million deaths in a year.
  • Infections with HCV in adults continue to occur, mostly due to injecting drug use and unsafe injections in health care settings in certain countries.
  • Hepatitis can be prevented, diagnosed, treated and even cured.

Reasons behind celebrating World Hepatitis Day

  • To encourage and aware people about the early diagnosis, prevention and treatment from the hepatitis.
  • To raise awareness among public about types of hepatitis disease.
  • To provide an opportunity to focus together on the disease Hepatitis.
  • To tell people about prevention, early diagnosis, screening, control etc.
  • To increase awareness about the vaccine of Hepatitis A and B.
  • To educate people and expand it for immunization, prevention, diagnosis and control.
  • To make people aware about the care and treatment for those people suffering from hepatitis.
  • To make people get tested the disease at an early stage.