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 1.34 million people every year. The causes of liver diseases and can also kill a person.
Hepatitis groups, patients and advocates worldwide take part in events on 28 July. Notably in 2012, a Guinness World Record was created when 12,588 people from 20 countries. They did the Three Wise Monkeys actions on World Hepatitis Day to signify the willful ignorance of the disease.
The inaugural International Hepatitis C Awareness day, coordinated by various European and Middle Eastern Patient Groups and Baby Muriel. They 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.
The idea of Hepatitis day originated in Cuttack, Odisha. As mentioned by Blumberg himself in his autobiography. Professor SP Singh, Head of the Dept of Gastroenterology. SCB Cuttack proposed to celebrate Hepatitis day in the institute on 28th of July. 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. 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 a 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 the Member States.”
World Hepatitis Day is now recognised 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.