World Hepatitis Day 2023: Date, history, theme and significance of the day | Health - Hindustan Times
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World Hepatitis Day 2023: Date, history, theme and significance of the day

Jul 27, 2023 05:00 PM IST

World Hepatitis Day raises awareness about viral hepatitis and the need for prevention, testing, and treatment. From theme to date, here's all you need to know.

World Hepatitis Day is observed every year on July 28 to raise awareness of viral hepatitis and its impact on global health. The day aims to promote prevention, testing and treatment, and to show support for those affected by hepatitis. The distressing figures showing that someone dies from hepatitis or other associated illnesses every 30 seconds globally give rise to the necessity of this awareness campaign. A hidden killer that causes many fatalities each year is viral hepatitis. The goal of World Hepatitis Day is to increase public awareness of the issue and the steps that need to be taken to improve efforts at viral hepatitis prevention, screening, and control. (Also read: Beware of Hepatitis A in monsoon; check out these warning signs and symptoms, prevention tips )

World Hepatitis Day aims to increase public awareness of viral hepatitis and its effects on public health.(WHO)
World Hepatitis Day aims to increase public awareness of viral hepatitis and its effects on public health.(WHO)

When is World Hepatitis Day?

World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28 every year with the primary objective of raising awareness about hepatitis on a global level.

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World Hepatitis Day 2023 theme

World Hepatitis Day aims to create awareness about viral hepatitis, with this year's theme being 'One life, one liver.' Each year, the day centres around a specific theme to enhance understanding of the global hepatitis situation and drive positive action. Diverse events, including campaigns, seminars, and lectures, encourage worldwide participation to educate people about the disease and promote a healthier future.

History of World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day, initially observed on May 19, was later moved to July 28 in 2010. The World Hepatitis Alliance, established in 2007, organized the first community-driven World Hepatitis Day in 2008. This decision came after the World Health Assembly decided to honour the birthday of Dr Baruch Samuel Blumberg, the American physician credited with discovering Hepatitis B in the 1960s. On July 28, World Hepatitis Day serves as an occasion to enhance national and international efforts against hepatitis, encouraging action and involvement from individuals, partners, and the public.

It highlights the need for a stronger global response, as outlined in the WHO's Global Hepatitis Report of 2017. The chosen date of July 28 coincides with the birthday of Dr Baruch Blumberg, who made groundbreaking contributions to hepatitis research by discovering the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and developing a diagnostic test and vaccine for the virus. To achieve the global elimination goals for hepatitis by 2030, addressing the significant gap in testing and treatment coverage is crucial.

Significance of World Hepatitis Day

The significance of World Hepatitis Day is to increase public awareness of viral hepatitis and its effects on public health. On this day, communities, people, and politicians may learn about the many varieties of hepatitis, as well as about preventative strategies, testing, and treatment choices. It promotes global advocacy and cooperation in the fight against the rising number of hepatitis-related diseases and fatalities. World Hepatitis Day is essential for encouraging a coordinated worldwide response and working towards the WHO's target of eradicating viral hepatitis as a significant public health hazard by 2030 by stressing the need for greater immunisation, early diagnosis, and improved access to healthcare services.

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