Hepatitis is a major global health issue affecting millions of people around the world. Every 30 seconds, a person loses his/her life due to hepatitis-related illnesses. Lack of awareness about this deadly disease and timely detection as well as lack of proper treatment led to the inception of World Hepatitis Day. It is celebrated on the 28th of July every year to globally unite people in the action against Hepatitis. The day calls for awareness creation among the masses about Hepatitis. This year’s theme is Hepatitis Can’t-Wait. Keep reading to know more about the importance of World Hepatitis Day and how you can contribute towards its eradication.
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What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is a disease of the liver which causes inflammation of the liver tissues. This often leads to liver cancer. Millions of people across the globe suffer from this life-threatening disease. In most cases, the disease goes undetected and this causes irreparable damage to the liver. 9 out of 10 people who suffer from hepatitis have no clue about it and this makes it even more severe.
The causes of hepatitis are heavy use of alcohol, toxins, some kind of prescribed medications and often it’s caused because of a virus. In the United States, hepatitis caused by viral infections includes – Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C.
Strains of Hepatitis
Hepatitis has five strains – A, B, C, D and E. The causes and spread of these variants vary. The severity of each strain also differs. The most severe ones are Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C which has taken millions of lives across the globe:
- The spread of Hepatitis A and E is through the consumption of contaminated food or water.
- Hepatitis B spreads mainly through physical or sexual contact. Another mode of transmission includes from an infected blood transfusion or through the mother to her child in the womb.
- The mode of transmission of Hepatitis C is through infected blood transfusion,
- Hepatitis D on the other hand affects those who are suffering from Hepatitis B.
History of World Hepatitis Day
Now that you have read about the basics of Hepatitis, you must be interested in knowing more about the history of World Hepatitis Day. World Hepatitis Day is celebrated on the 28th of July every year. The day is observed in the remembrance of American geneticist and physician Baruch Samuel Blumberg for his outstanding contributions and work on Hepatitis B. He was born on the 28th of July 1925 and was a Nobel Laureate. He found out about the Hepatitis B virus strain and then went on to develop diagnostic tests for the same. World Hepatitis Day obtained global endorsement after the 63rd World Health Assembly.
World Hepatitis Day Theme 2021
The theme for World Hepatitis Day 2021 is Hepatitis Can’t-Wait. This theme asserts that people shouldn’t wait to act on a disease as deadly as Hepatitis even during the Covid crisis or else it would be too late.
The theme for 2020 was “Hepatitis-free future.” However, there is still a long way to go in ensuring that the world is free from this serious disease of the liver. Hence, one can say even today the need of the hour is to spread awareness about this disease, early treatment, and prevention measures.
Past Year Themes
|2020||Hepatitis Free Future|
|2019||Invest in eliminating hepatitis|
|2018||Test. Treat. Hepatitis|
|2016||Know Hepatitis-Act now|
|2015||Prevention of viral Hepatitis. Act now|
|2014||Hepatitis: Think Again|
|2013||More must be done to stop this silent killer|
|2012||It’s closer than you think|
|2011||Know it. Confront it. Confront her|
|2010||Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere|
Significance of World Hepatitis Day
The day is observed with the primary aim of educating the masses about the disease. It calls for global attention on the strains of the hepatitis virus, their mode of transmission, how to prevent it and the complications that may arise when one suffers from Hepatitis. The day also emphasises keeping one’s liver healthy.
How to Celebrate?
Celebrating World Hepatitis Day is all about raising awareness and helping people around the world detect the disease on time. Get involved with the world hepatitis day initiative by the World Health Organization. You can in various activities like-
- Sharing infographics by the organisation to raise awareness through social media
- Create Instagram reels around them- HEP Can’t-Wait
- Sign up for the pledge on the elimination of hepatitis
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Prevention and Control
Here are a few tips you must keep in mind to ensure you are Hepatitis free always –
- Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B when needed
- Do not use shared needles
- Inculcate good hygiene practices
- Abstain from consuming contaminated food or water
- Always carry bottled water while travelling.
This was all about World Hepatitis Day 2021. We hope this urges you to join the movement in educating the masses about the severity of Hepatitis and taking preventive measures. For more such content, stay connected with Leverage Edu on Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and LinkedIn!