World Hepatitis Day is celebrated every year on 28 July 2023 and it aims to raise awareness about the disease and make more people take tests and seek treatment for the same. World Hepatitis Day 2023 celebration is a powerful call to countries to scale up access to testing and treatment.
Viral hepatitis is a silent killer that is responsible for numerous deaths every year. The problem is that the symptoms only appear once the disease is advanced. In the Americas, nearly 80,000 new cases of hepatitis B and C arise each year but mostly go undetected which results in about 100,000 hepatitis-related deaths every single year.
We can prevent the spread and deaths related to hepatitis with the help of vaccines and effective treatments. Let's know more about World Hepatitis Day 2023 and about its history, theme, and significance.
What is the Theme of World Hepatitis Day 2023?
The theme for World Hepatitis Day 2023 is “We're not waiting.” WHD 2023 aims to “accelerate elimination efforts of viral hepatitis now and the urgent need for testing and treatment for the real people who need it."
World Hepatitis Day 2023: History
Dr Baruch Samuel Blumberg, also known as Barry Blumberg, a physician, and geneticist, discovered the hepatitis B virus in 1967 and developed the first vaccine for hepatitis B and was awarded the Nobel Prize for the same. 28 July marks his birthday and has been chosen as World Hepatitis Day to honor his achievements and contributions.
In 2008, World Hepatitis Alliance in coordination with different patient groups declared May 19 as the first global World Hepatitis Day but later, a resolution was passed during World Health Assembly in 2010 to change the date to July 28 to commemorate the work of Dr Baruch Samuel Blumberg.
Why is Hepatitis Day Celebrated?
World Hepatitis Day is celebrated with the aim to raise awareness of viral hepatitis. It is a disease that causes inflammation that causes liver ailments and related cancers. There are five strains of Hepatitis virus but the most common ones include hepatitis B & C which kill around 13 lakh people each year. the objectives of World Hepatitis Day include:
Promoting vaccination against hepatitis B
Raising awareness among pregnant women to get tested for hepatitis B, HIV, and syphilis and treated as needed.
Governments and organizations need to make sure that everyone gets access to hepatitis prevention, testing, and treatment services.
Services like Hepatitis prevention and care services, such as infant immunization, harm reduction services, and treatment of chronic hepatitis B must be ensured at all times.