GENERAL HEALTH

Why Do We Celebrate 28 July as World Hepatitis Day?

World Hepatitis Day has effectively raised awareness on viral hepatitis

‘HEP CAN’T WAIT’ is the tagline of World Hepatitis Day 2021

The World Hepatitis Day theme changes each year and inspires action

B
Bajaj Finserv Health
July 28th, 2021
5 mins read

Hepatitis is an infection that causes inflammation of the liver. This condition is caused by 5 viral strains called A, B, C, D, and E. Based on these types, Hepatitis has 5 categories. Hepatitis B and C are the two most common. WHO reveals that about 325 million people were infected with hepatitis in the year 2019. Further, about 1.4 million deaths are caused due to it each year. [1]

However, Hepatitis B and C can be prevented by proper vaccination. In fact, WHO aims to rid the world of hepatitis by the year 2030. [2] In order to do this and raise awareness, World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28. This day has been endorsed by WHO to shine a light on the importance of eliminating this disease with the right treatment. [3]

Common Hepatitis SymptomsSymptoms & Treatment of Hepatitis

Some of the symptoms of hepatitis include:

  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Discomfort in the abdomen.

Though each strain can cause mild to severe symptoms, these are common to Hepatitis A, B, and C. In some cases, you can get also jaundice. In cases of acute hepatitis, you may experience a chronic liver infection that might develop into liver cirrhosis. This can be deadly or cause cancer. On the other hand, Hepatitis D only occurs if you have Hepatitis B. Lastly, with Hepatitis E, symptoms include nausea, mild appetite, skin rash, joint pain, and others. [4]

Vaccination can help against Hepatitis B, but if the infection turns chronic, you will need antiviral agents. Vaccines and antiviral drugs can help prevent most hepatitis infections.

Additional Read: Learn How to Spot and Prevent Liver Cirrhosis

symptoms of hepatitis

 

Read on to know more about World Hepatitis Day and its significance.

When is World Hepatitis Day celebrated?

Hepatitis day is celebrated on July 28 to mark the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg. He discovered the Hepatitis B virus along with a test and vaccine for the same. [3] For his work, Dr. Baruch received a Nobel Prize in medicine in 1976.

How is World Hepatitis Day observed?

Every year, the world follows a unique World Hepatitis Day theme. Efforts focus on raising awareness on Hepatitis to bring about real change. On this day, many campaigns are run to increase awareness on diagnosis and treatment of Hepatitis. Each year there is a new theme with a unique motto.

World Hepatitis Day 2018 was celebrated with the motto, ‘Help us find the Missing Millions’. This was a campaign for about 3 years and raised awareness on the importance of Hepatitis screening and treatment. A global survey was conducted that helped understand how to get rid of barriers in eliminating hepatitis. [5]

For 2019, the focus was on eliminating hepatitis. The theme was ‘Invest in eliminating Hepatitis’. WHO requested all countries to invest towards eliminating hepatitis. It encouraged people to access hepatitis prevention and treatment facilities. [2]

The 2020 World Hepatitis Day theme expanded on the one launched in 2018. It primarily tackled barriers by focusing on those with hepatitis. By the end of 2020, this campaign helped raise awareness, increased diagnosis rates and positively impacted national testing policies. [6]

For World Hepatitis Day 2021, the theme is ‘HEP CAN’T WAIT!’ Combined with the pandemic, deaths due to hepatitis are on the rise. ‘HEP CAN’T WAIT’ indicates the severity of viral hepatitis. Be it newborns or pregnant mothers, the mission urges for a proactive approach. It highlights that communities simply can’t wait for necessary funding and need care now. [7]

Liver Health- Hepatitis symptoms

What are the key achievements of World Hepatitis Day?

Hepatitis day has gained more than 500 thousand impressions under the official tagline #WorldHepatitisDay on Twitter. It remained as the most trending topic on social media. Celebrating World Hepatitis Day led to a revolution, urging countries to take action to eradicate viral hepatitis. Further, 100+ countries signed an open letter for the ‘Nohep’ movement to stand for change. Over 3,000 organizations and people urged their governments to work toward eliminating hepatitis. Even with the pandemic, this day was able to rally people and educate them with key information about the sickness. [6]

World Hepatitis Day is a reminder to be wary of this disease. It educates on topics such as preventive care, symptoms, and proper treatment. Appropriate and timely interventions can protect you from life-threatening hepatitis complications like cirrhosis and liver cancer. To

ensure that you get a proper diagnosis, use the Bajaj Finserv Health platform. With it, you can book a doctor consultation within minutes and take the necessary steps to protect yourself from hepatitis or any other health complications.

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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