On 28 July World Hepatitis Day brings the world together to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change in disease prevention and access to testing, treatment and care. One of just four disease-specific global awareness days officially endorsed by the World Health Organization, WHD unites patient organisations, governments and the general public to boost the global profile of viral hepatitis.
The sixth official WHD took place on July 28 2016 along the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) theme of ‘NOhep – Eliminate Hepatitis’ and World Health Organization (WHO) theme ‘Know hepatitis - Act now’. Once again the impact of WHD grew substantially this year, with 174 countries taking part across the globe and 105 national governments and 59 WHO Country Offices commemorating the day.
Find out more about past World Hepatitis Day campaigns here.
Viral hepatitis is the 7th leading cause of death globally, accounting for 1.4 million deaths per year – more than HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. Together, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C cause 80% of most liver cancer cases in the world.
Viral hepatitis is not found in one location nor amongst one set of people; it can affect millions of people without them even being aware. Currently, 95% of people living with viral hepatitis are not aware of their status. This can result in the real possibility of developing fatal liver disease at some point in their lives and in some cases, unknowingly transmitting the infection to others.
With the availability of effective vaccines and treatments for hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C, the elimination of viral hepatitis is achievable, but greater awareness of the disease and the risks is a must, as is access to cheaper diagnostics and treatment.
The World Hepatitis Alliance is a patient-led and patient-driven organisation representing the 400 million people living with viral hepatitis. WHA provides global leadership in awareness-raising, advocacy and in the fight to end social injustice, driving action to achieve a world free from viral hepatitis.