World Hepatitis Day – What Are the Activities Observed on World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day also known as WHD is celebrated yearly on July 28th to honour Dr. Baruch Blumberg (1925-2011). Dr. Blumberg discovered the hepatitis B virus in 1967 and he founded the first hepatitis B vaccine two years later.

World Hepatitis Day

These achievements earned him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1976, and different organizations worldwide, including the World Health Organization (WHO) and the CDC, observe WHD to create awareness about viral hepatitis, which affects more than 354 million people globally. WHD also provides an opportunity to educate individuals about the burden of these infections, CDC’s efforts to fight viral hepatitis globally, and actions that can be implemented to stop these infections from occurring.

World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day is an event that takes place every year on July 28th. This event aims to create awareness of hepatitis, which is a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. On this day, the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of these diseases are also encouraged. This campaign is endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), and it is great for highlighting the impact of viral hepatitis on public health. This disease can cause inflammation of the liver and lead to various health problems, like liver cancer.

About Hepatitis

Hepatitis is liver inflammation caused by different infectious viruses and non-infectious agents, which leads to diverse health problems, some of which may be fatal. The hepatitis virus has five main strains, referred to as types A, B, C, D, and E. While they all cause liver disease, they differ in crucial ways, including transmission modes, illness severity, geographical distribution, and prevention methods.

Types B and C, in particular, lead to chronic disease in millions of people, and together they are the most common causes of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and viral hepatitis-related deaths. An estimated 354 million people worldwide are living with hepatitis B or C, and for many, testing and treatment are beyond reach.

Some types of hepatitis can be prevented by vaccination. A WHO study shows that by 2030, 4.5 million premature deaths could be prevented in low- and middle-income countries through vaccination, diagnostic tests, medicines, and education campaigns. Therefore, WHO’s global hepatitis strategy, which is supported by all WHO Member States, is aimed at reducing new hepatitis infections by 90% and deaths by 65% between 2016 and 2030.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Causes of Hepatitis?

When the liver is damaged or inflamed, its function may be affected, and this may result in hepatitis. However, Hepatitis, which is often caused by a virus, can also be caused by heavy alcohol use, toxins, certain medications, and certain medical conditions.

What Are the Activities Observed on World Hepatitis Day?

Some of the activities observed on world hepatitis day are:

  • Screening and vaccination drives
  • Educational programs and awareness campaigns
  • Fundraising
  • Collaboration with healthcare professionals

When is World Hepatitis Day 2024?

World Hepatitis Day will be observed on Sunday, July 28, 2024. On this day, awareness will be raised of the different types of hepatitis, and the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of it.

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