World Hepatitis Day
World Hepatitis Day, observed on July 28 every year, aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis — a group of infectious diseases known as Hepatitis A,B,C,D and E — and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment. Hepatitis affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year. World Hepatitis Day is one of eight official global health public campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO).
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is the liver infection and inflammation caused by the virus. Five types of the hepatitis have been detected caused by different viruses and named as hepatitis A, B, C, D, E. A and E type are short term infection and known as acute infection however B, C and D type are long-term infection and called as chronic hepatitis. Second one may lead to some life threatening complications including cirrhosis means liver scarring, liver cancer, liver failure and so many. More than 1.5 million people are getting die every year because of this dangerous disease whereas 4.4 million Americans are living with the infection of this chronic hepatitis.
People may be infected with the hepatitis A due to the food and water contamination with fecal matter. Hepatitis B is most common problem caused in many regions of the world especially in the Asian and African countries. Vaccines are available for both type hepatitis A and B. Hepatitis C can be caused by the sharing of needles, equipment injecting cosmetic substances, steroids or drugs. Most of the persons suffering from the viral hepatitis do not develop any obvious symptoms in the starting period which may lead to the some serious liver problems like liver damage, liver cancer and failure which needs liver transplant.
The inaugural International Hepatitis C Awareness day, coordinated by various European and Middle Eastern Patient Groups and Baby Muriel, took place on October 1, 2004,However many patient groups continued to mark ‘hepatitis day’ on disparate dates. For this reason in 2008, the World Hepatitis Alliance in collaboration with patient groups declared May 19 the first global World Hepatitis Day. Following the adoption of a resolution during the 63rd World Health Assembly in May 2010, World Hepatitis Day was given global endorsement as the primary focus for national and international awareness-raising efforts and the date was changed to July 28 (in honour of Nobel Laureate Baruch Samuel Blumberg, discoverer of the hepatitis B virus, who celebrates his birthday on that date). The resolution resolves that “28 July shall be designated as World Hepatitis Day 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 is now recognized in over 100 countries each year through events such as free screenings, poster campaigns, demonstrations, concerts, talk shows, flash mobs and vaccination drives, amongst many others. Each year a report is published by the WHO and the World Hepatitis Alliance detailing all the events across the world.
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