In 2008 the World Hepatitis Alliance launched the World Hepatitis day to focus for patient and people living with hepatitis B and C. It is an opportunity to raise awareness about the disease, its facets and usher in some real change in preventing the disease and increasing access to testing and treatment. With huge support from governments worldwide, NGOs and international bodies like Médecins Sans Frontières, the World Health Assembly of May 2010 agreed to recognize World Hepatitis Day on 28 July.
Almost 1 in every 12 people lives with hepatitis B or C. If left untreated/unmanaged it will lead to severe liver scarring, maybe even liver failure or cancer. People worry more about HIV/AIDS but the fact is that every year some 1.5 million people worldwide die from either hepatitis B or C and that too way faster than they would from HIV/AIDS.
World Hepatitis Day provides a scope to focus on actions like spreading awareness to strengthen prevention, screening and control of viral hepatitis and its related diseases, increasing hepatitis B vaccine coverage, and coordinating a strong global response to increase awareness and ensure treatment of hepatitis.
The different type of Hepatitis viruses- A, B, C, D and E cause acute and chronic infection and inflammation of the liver leading to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis is a major global health risk and affects some 350 million people who are infected with hepatitis B and some 170 million people infected with hepatitis C.
The 2012 theme is “This is hepatitis… It’s closer than you think” The disease does not discriminate- against age, race or gender, economic status, nothing so just confront it – get yourself tested. You can prevent Hepatitis A with safe food habits like avoiding cut fruits, street side juices, clean drinking water and such simple steps. A 2011 study showed over 42 million Indians suffer from chronic hepatitis B infection and vaccination profiles are shockingly lows. July 28 is just a commemoration – make every other day a day against the dreaded virus and only then will it be controlled.