Every year, nearly 1.34 million people lose their lives due to Hepatitis. Hepatitis viruses are among the most dangerous as they can result in chronic liver illness or even death. To raise awareness about these hazardous Hepatitis Viruses, the United Nations has declared the 28th of July each year as World Hepatitis Day.
History of World Hepatitis Day
The first International Hepatitis C Day was organized through the coordination of various European and Middle Eastern patient groups and Baby Muriel on October 1, 2004. Different patient groups continued to observe Hepatitis Day on different dates. This variation led the World Hepatitis Alliance, in collaboration with patient groups, to declare May 18 as the first World Hepatitis Day globally.
Dr. Blumberg, the discoverer of the Hepatitis B virus, mentioned in his autobiography that the idea of celebrating Hepatitis Day originated in Cuttack, Odisha. The proposal to mark World Hepatitis Day on July 28 was put forward by Professor SP Singh, Head of Gastroenterology at SCB Cuttack. In May 2010, during the 63rd World Health Assembly, the resolution to globally celebrate World Hepatitis Day on July 28 every year was adopted.
The resolution states that International Hepatitis Day is observed to provide an opportunity for education and a better understanding of Viral Hepatitis as a global public health problem. It also aims to take measures to strengthen preventive and control measures for Hepatitis worldwide.
World Hepatitis Day 2024 Theme
Some of the themes recognized by World Health Organization are
|Hepatitis affects everyone everywhere. Know it. Confront it
|It is closer than you think
|More must be done to stop this silent killer
|Hepatitis Think Again
|Prevention of Viral Hepatitis, Act now
|Know Hepatitis – Act now.
|Test, Treat Hepatitis
|Invest in eliminating Hepatitis.
|Hepatitis Free Future
|Hepatitis can’t wait
|Bringing Hepatitis care closer to you
|We’re Not Waiting
Importance of World Hepatitis Day
This day’s importance is to spread awareness on Hepatitis, types of Hepatitis, cause, symptoms, and cure. We often are very ignorant about the facts of this disease. It is critical to understand the seriousness of this illness.
World Hepatitis Day provides a platform to learn about Hepatitis and also spread awareness about the same. There are close to 1.34 million people who get infected with this chronic illness and eventually die every year.
How to Celebrate World Hepatitis Day?
More than 100 countries now recognize “International Hepatitis Day” annually. They organize awareness events such as:
- Free screening: Organize free Hepatitis check-up at the local, national, and international levels.
- Poster Campaigns: Make and stick awareness posters all over the town.
- Demonstrations: Demonstrate the cause, action, and prevention of Hepatitis to small and large groups as convenient.
- Concerts: Hold free concerts on World hepatitis day as a Fundraiser event to support the cause.
- Talk shows: Attend the Talk shows where the experts share Hepatitis awareness.
- National Vaccination drives: Vaccination drives to prevent or control the spread of Hepatitis is a very diligent way of spreading awareness.
- Stand for a Cause: Coordinating a worldwide response for Hepatitis and its recognition.
Types of Hepatitis Virus
- Hepatitis A (HAV) – Hepatitis A transmitted through contaminated food or water. One can contact this disease through certain sex positions also. HAV can be becoming life-threatening in places with poor sanitation. Vaccination for HAV is available for prevention.
- Hepatitis B (HBV) – Hepatitis B transmitted through exposure to infected blood, semen or any other bodily fluid. HBV can be transmitted from the infected mother to the child during childbirth.
- Hepatitis C (HCV) – Hepatitis C is transmitted mostly through exposure to infected blood. It can happen in the case of HCV contaminated blood transfusion or during any medical procedures. Transmission through sex is also possible but rarely happens.
- Hepatitis D (HDV) – Hepatitis D happens only to the ones infected with HBV. The combination of HBV and HDV can be deadly. Vaccination for HBV also serves HDV.
- Hepatitis E (HEV) – Hepatitis E transmitted through contaminated water and food. The spread of HEV is a common worry in developing countries.
If there is enough awareness about Hepatitis, we can help, control or take preventive measures. Let us promise to make it a globe free of Hepatitis.