World Hepatitis Day was observed across the world on 28 July 2015 with the theme Prevent hepatitis. Act now. The day acts as a significant global platform for raising awareness about hepatitis and influence real change in disease prevention, testing and treatment.
The theme highlights the fact that infection through transmission can be prevented through proven and effective interventions. It is important for everyone to be aware of hepatitis and to learn how they can protect themselves from being infected.
The observance of the day in 2015 focuses particularly on Hepatitis B and C. These two combined cause approximately 80 percent of all liver cancer deaths and kill close to 1.4 million people every year.
In 2015, WHO’s flagship event to mark the day will take place in Egypt, which has one of the world’s highest hepatitis burdens. It is estimated that 10 percent of the Egypt’s population between 15 and 59 years is chronically infected with hepatitis C.
Egypt is also highlighting hepatitis prevention with it being chosen as one of the 3 pilot countries by WHO for its new Global Injection Safety Initiative.
World Hepatitis Summit
It will take place in September 2015 in Glasgow, Scotland and will be the first-ever summit on hepatitis. The summit will be co-sponsored by WHO, the Scottish Government and the World Hepatitis Alliance.
The aim of the Summit is to raise the global profile of viral hepatitis, to create a platform for exchange of country experiences and to focus on working with countries to develop national action plans.
About Viral Hepatitis
Viral hepatitis is caused by 5 distinct hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E which together are responsible for 1.45 million deaths each year.
Hepatitis B and C are responsible for 80 percent of infections whereas Hepatitis A and E are only responsible for 1 percent of infections.
81 percent of world’s infants are vaccinated and protected from hepatitis B infection and 2 million hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections occur yearly through unsafe injections.
These viruses are transmitted through contaminated water and food, as well as by contact with blood or bodily fluids, through unsafe injections or transfusions. Infection also occurs from a mother to a child, or through sexual contact.
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