28 July 2018: World Hepatitis Day
The World Hepatitis Day was observed globally on July 28, 2018 with the theme "Test. Treat. Hepatitis".
On the occasion, the World Health Organisation conducts several activities and events across the globe with the aim of achieving the following objectives:
- To support scale-up of hepatitis prevention, testing, treatment and care services, with specific focus on promoting WHO testing and treatment recommendations
- To showcase best practices and promote universal health coverage of hepatitis services
- To improve partnerships and funding in the fight against viral hepatitis
Why is the day observed?
• Viral hepatitis B and C are major health challenges, which affect around 325 million people globally.
• They are chronic infections that may not show symptoms for a long period, sometimes even for years or decades.
• They are also the root causes of liver cancer, leading to the deaths of around 1.34 million people every year.
• At least 60 per cent of liver cancer cases are due to late testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C.
• Hence, low coverage of testing and treatment is the most important gap that needs to be addressed in order to achieve the 2030 global elimination goal.
• By dedicating a day to the cause, more and more people around the world are becoming aware of the chronic results of the infection and thus, it can save many lives.
Ten things to know about Viral Hepatitis
1. Viral hepatitis B and C are major health challenges
2. Viral hepatitis B and C are root causes of liver cancer
3. Timely testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C can save lives
4. Viral hepatitis causes debilitating diseases and also places a huge economic burden on families
5. Viral hepatitis has become a major killer due to a lack of global attention
6. Over the past 15 years, more and more people have been dying of viral hepatitis
7. At the same time, people are becoming newly infected with hepatitis
8. Hepatitis attacks the most vulnerable
9. Hepatitis can be prevented, diagnosed, treated and even cured
10. You can help eliminate hepatitis
The World Health Organisation along with the Government of Mongolia will be holding a series of events in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia to commemorate the World Hepatitis Day 2018.
The events will engage high-level leaders, advocates and patient representatives from global, regional and national organisations.
They will be aimed at highlighting the innovative solutions and partnerships needed in scaling up hepatitis testing and treatment services, as well as celebrating the country's championing experience in the global hepatitis response.
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