World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July bringing the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. One of just four disease-specific global awareness days officially endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), WHD unites patient organizations, governments, medical professionals, civil society, industry and the general public to boost the global profile of viral hepatitis. Patient advocates across the world joined together for the first WHD on 19 May 2008.
Following the adoption of a World Health Assembly resolution in 2010, WHD was given global endorsement as the primary focus for national and international awareness-raising efforts. The date was chosen to honour Nobel Laureate Baruch Samuel Blumberg who discovered the hepatitis B virus and was born on 28 July. The resolution resolves that “28 July shall be designated as WHD in order to provide an opportunity for education and greater understanding of viral hepatitis as a global public health problem, and to stimulate the strengthening of preventive and control measures of this disease in Member States.”
World Hepatitis Day presents an ideal opportunity: an opportunity to join together and raise the profile of viral hepatitis among the public, the world’s media and on the global health agenda, driving action towards achieving the elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030.
In 2016, 194 governments adopted WHO’s Global Strategy on Viral Hepatitis, which includes a goal of eliminating hepatitis B and C by 2030.
WHD 2018,The World Hepatitis Alliance calls on all individuals and organizations to unite under the theme of “Eliminate Hepatitis” to drive action, build momentum and hold governments accountable.
2018 Campaign: ”Find the Missing Millions”
Out of the 325 million people living with viral hepatitis globally, upward of 290 million (that’s 9 in 10!) are living with the hepatitis B or hepatitis C and don’t know it.
On WHD, the World Hepatitis Alliance is launching Find the Missing Millions, a three year awareness-raising and advocacy campaign to educate, influence national testing policies and encourage people to get screened and/or become advocates in the quest to find the undiagnosed.
In South-East Asia, 97% of men and women living with viral hepatitis don’t know it. Unless detected and treated it can cause liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer.