28th July is observed as the world Hepatitis day every year to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, a group of infectious liver diseases affecting hundreds of people worldwide. Over 900,000 deaths in the world are recorded every year caused by Hepatitis B infection. Hepatitis can cause a range of liver inflammation and health problems including liver cancer. There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus namely A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis B and C are one of the most common causes of deaths, with 1.3 million lives lost each year.
World Hepatitis Day History
World Hepatitis Day is recognized on 28th July because it is the birthday of Dr Baruch Blumberg (1925–2011). He discovered the hepatitis B virus in 1967 and its vaccine in 1969. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1976 for his work on Hepatitis. 28th of July was designated as the world hepatitis day after the adoption of resolution during the 63rd World Health Assembly in May 2010.
World Hepatitis Day 2021 Theme
This year the theme for World Hepatitis Day is “Hepatitis Can’t Wait”. 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.
- People living with viral hepatitis unaware can’t wait for testing
- People living with hepatitis can’t wait for life saving treatments
- Expectant mothers can’t wait for hepatitis screening and treatment
- Newborn babies can’t wait for birth dose vaccination
- People affected by hepatitis can’t wait to end stigma and discrimination
- Community organisations can’t wait for greater investment
- Decision makers can’t wait and must act now to make hepatitis elimination a reality through political will and funding.