Every year on 28 July, the world comes together to celebrate World Hepatitis Day (WHD). The day is dedicated to raising awareness about viral hepatitis and the steps needed to combat this dreaded disease. More than 325 million people worldwide are affected by hepatitis B and C, so it is important to highlight the importance of early detection, prevention, and treatment of hepatitis. In this blog article, we will discuss the importance, significance, Slogan, theme, history of World Hepatitis Day and explore ways to eliminate the burden of this disease.
Importance of World Hepatitis Day
World Hepatitis Day serves as a rallying point for individuals, communities and governments to come together and take action against hepatitis. By promoting awareness of the risk factors for the different types of viral hepatitis and the prevention measures available, we can empower people to make informed choices about their health. The day also helps break down the stigma and discrimination associated with hepatitis, which often act as a barrier to access to testing and treatment.
Global Impact of Hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is a group of infectious diseases. This affects the liver, causing inflammation and potentially leading to serious complications such as cirrhosis and liver cancer. According to known statistics, about 1.4 million people die from hepatitis-related diseases every year. This is higher than the annual death rate of diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria or tuberculosis. Despite these worrying statistics, hepatitis is often overlooked and neglected, given insufficient attention and funding compared to other health problems.
Prevention of hepatitis
Prevention plays an important role in reducing the burden of hepatitis. There is currently no cure for hepatitis but vaccination is available for hepatitis A and B. Vaccination provides effective protection against this type of virus. In many countries, vaccination programs have been successful in reducing the spread of hepatitis B. Additionally promoting safe injection practices, ensuring blood and organ safety can also reduce the transmission of hepatitis B and C to a great extent.
Slogan / Theme of World Hepatitis Day 2023
The Slogan for World Hepatitis Day (WHD) 2023 is ‘One Life One Liver’. The slogan highlights the importance of the liver and motivates for the prevention and treatment of hepatitis.
The call to action for WHD 2023 is ‘We’re not waiting’. This calls for the acceleration of viral hepatitis elimination efforts and the urgent need for testing and treatment for those who are genuine.
History of World Hepatitis Day 2023
The World Hepatitis Organization was established in 2007 and the first community-organised World Hepatitis Day was celebrated in 2008. World Hepatitis Day was first celebrated on 19th May then from 2010 it started to be celebrated on 28th July. It marks the birthday (July 28) of Baruch Samuel Blumberg, who was an American physician. Nobel laureate Dr. Blumberg discovered hepatitis B in the 1960s. He also developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for hepatitis B virus (HBV).
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