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World Hepatitis Day 2021: History, significance, theme and all you need to know

09:12 AM Jul 28, 2021 | Priyasha Sinha

World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28 every year with the aim of raising awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and encouraging real change by promoting prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the same.

World Hepatitis Day is one of the eleven officially-mandated global public health campaigns marked by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

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Hepatitis is a condition that leads to the inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer. There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus A, B, C, D, and E - each with a different mode of transmissions, symptoms and treatments.

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Hepatitis affects the lives of millions of people worldwide, causing both acute (short-term) and chronic (long-term) liver disease. Hepatitis B and C combined are the most common cause of deaths, accounting for 1.3 million lives lost each year.

World Hepatitis Day 2021 Theme

The theme of World Hepatitis Day 2020 is 'Hepatitis can't wait.' The WHO called countries and organisations to take action and raise awareness because Hepatitis Can’t Wait. Highlighting the need to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis-related illness — even in the current COVID-19 crisis — we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis.

World Hepatitis Day: Regular screening of liver a must

World Hepatitis Day History

World Hepatitis Day was adopted as a resolution on May 2010 during the 63rd World Health Assembly. The day is marked on July 28 in honour of the birthday of Nobel Laureate Baruch Samuel Blumberg, discoverer of the hepatitis B virus.

Significance

According to the WHO, one person dies of a hepatitis-related illness every 30 seconds. It is a serious health condition as there are 1.1 million deaths due to the B and C strains every year.

The day is significant in bringing Hepatitis groups, policymakers, patients and advocates worldwide to a common platform where they can discuss ideas that could eliminate the infection.

Hepatitis cases increase by 16% in last five years

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