World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day - Sunday, July 28, 2024

Health Awareness Educational Global Focus International

World Hepatitis Day is a public health holiday held each year to raise awareness about hepatitis, a group of infectious diseases that attack the liver and affect people all over the globe. The day also promotes testing and prevention for all five types of the disease: A, B, C, D and E. The World Hepatitis Alliance established this day in 2008 but did you know it was originally held on May 19? The date moved to July 28 in 2010 after the World Health Assembly decided to commemorate the birthday of Baruch Samuel Blumberg, an American physician who discovered hepatitis B in the Sixties, eventually winning a Nobel Prize for his work on the virus and its vaccine.

Hepatitis is a disease characterized by the inflammation of the liver. There are 5 main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. These 5 types are of greatest concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread. In particular, types B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people and, together, are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.

Learn about World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day is an important day that increases awareness about this condition. It is no exaggeration to say that days like this can help save lives. After all, by increasing awareness, we could end up reaching one person who goes and sees a doctor, and that could be the difference for them! 

This is even more so important when you consider the fact that there are nine in 10 people across the world that are living with viral hepatitis and are unaware. There is a lot of misinformation out there about hepatitis. There is even a stigma attached to the condition in some cases. However, there are different types of hepatitis, which impact people in different ways, and this is why raising awareness is so critical! 

It is crazy to think that there are more than 290 million people across the world that are living with hepatitis C or hepatitis B and they don’t know about it! Lives are lost and people are infected without knowing because of a lack of information and the need to scale-up in terms of care, diagnosis, and screening. World Hepatitis Day is a day for us all to join together in this effort. There are some great charities, organizations, and individuals doing incredible work to help with this. 

The History of World Hepatitis Day

In 2010 the World Health Organization made World Hepatitis Day one of only four official disease-specific world health days, to be celebrated each year on the 28th July. Millions of people across the world now take part in World Hepatitis Day, to raise awareness about viral hepatitis, and to call for access to treatment, better prevention programs and government action.

There was a group created called the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) which is a patient-led and patient driven non-governmental organization whose membership consists of 230 different organizations from 81 countries all over the world.

There are different themes every year for World Hepatitis Day. These themes are important because they help to coordinate the worldwide response to hepatitis. They also help to strengthen prevention, raise awareness on the different types of hepatitis and the way the diseases are spread, and much more. We definitely recommend taking a look at the theme for each year, as it helps to give you some direction on the different things that you can focus on when it comes to raising awareness, fundraising, volunteering, or anything else that you will be doing on this date. Some of the different themes that have been used over the years include: Prevention of viral Hepatitis. Act now. – More must be done to stop this silent killer. Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere. Know it. Confront it.

How to Celebrate World Hepatitis Day

The theme for 2016’s global campaign is ELIMINATION. 2016 was a pivotal year for viral hepatitis. At the World Health Assembly in May, WHO Member States are set to adopt the first ever Elimination Strategy for Viral Hepatitis, with ambitious targets and a goal to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. This will be the first time national governments sign up and commit to the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis. There are plenty of different groups that you can join and volunteer with to help out with your local hepatitis patients.

You could also take care of your liver today, eat and drink some healthy things. There are also herbs that are good for cleansing your liver, such as Burdock, chicory, dandelion, and milk thistle. They can be used on a daily basis, and if consumed before meals they can enhance digestion. Some good foods for your liver are lemons, beets and beet tops, turmeric, garlic, avocados, artichokes, apples, and leafy green veggies like chard, kale and collards, broccoli, and cabbage.

Keep in mind you are trying to clean your body of toxins and wastes so it doesn’t make sense to consume heavy unhealthy foods and drinks while cleansing. We advise eating light, raw fruits and vegetables, especially those above, the first and last day of cleansing with fresh juice and tea during the middle 3-5 days. Just by consuming all the liquid we recommend with the program including the tea, potassium broth and fresh juices, you will literally flush the liver out.

Another good way to celebrate World Hepatitis Day is to raise awareness. This is one of the main aims and objectives for the day, and it is something we can all get involved in. it does not matter if you don’t know a lot about hepatitis and you are still learning yourself, you can still share resources from reputable sources, as well as giving people links to different websites that can help them. As mentioned, there are different themes for this date as well, so you can use this to help you share different types of information that can help people relating to the theme in question. We can all make a difference!

How to Take Part

  1. Get tested

    Get tested on World Hepatitis Day because you may be unaware that you're infected. It’s a simple blood test that you can take at your doctor’s office or at your neighborhood health center. After you're tested, encourage your friends and family to do the same.

  2. Join an event

    Tons of health organizations and affiliates raise awareness about the virus with events on World Hepatitis Day, July 28. Attend concerts, rallies, pop-up testings and more. Search the World Hepatitis Day website to find an event near you.

  3. Or, host your own awareness event

    If you can’t find an event near you, no problem! Take the initiative to host a fundraising run/walk, happy hour or a meal. The World Hepatitis Day site has campaign materials, toolkits, and other resources you can download. So, let's get this party started!

Why World Hepatitis Day is Important

  1. It’s a global epidemic

    Hepatitis is not one of those diseases that only affects certain demographics or specific regions in the world; you can get hepatitis anywhere. It’s estimated that about 400 million people are infected by hepatitis, worldwide. You can contract hepatitis through blood contact or sexual intercourse. A mother can pass it to her child. That’s why hepatitis can affect people in places where there's little information about the impact on unsafe sexual practices or drug abuse. Left untreated, hepatitis can lead to dangerous and sometimes, fatal liver diseases.

  2. We’ve made huge strides

    Here’s the good news: over the last 100 years, there’s been considerable progress in preventing and treating hepatitis. There are vaccines for both hepatitis A and B. At an early age, people in developing countries automatically get these vaccines from their doctors. Hepatitis C is easily treated and hepatitis D and E are rare.

  3. But we still have a long way to go

    Almost 90% of the people who have contracted hepatitis don’t realize they’re infected. The World Hepatitis Alliance has set a challenging goal to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. With your help, it’s an achievable goal.

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