One of only four World Health Organisation (WHO) endorsed “awareness days” focused on a specific disease, World Hepatitis Day is observed by the UN and across the worldevery 28 July. The purpose of the day is to raise public awareness about the worldwide plight of those suffering from viral Hepatitis.
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Government, medical, and humanitarian organisations throughout the world unite on 28 July to educate the public on the devastating effects of hepatitis. Hepatitis sometimes doesn’t get the spotlight, but it kills over a million people per year, as many as AIDS or malaria does. And it is the leading cause of liver cancer.
What makes the disease even more serious is that the vast majority of cases go undetected for a long time, until liver disease or death result. And people with hepatitis often spread the disease to others long before they know they have it.
World Hepatitis Day is especially important because vaccines for both hepatitis-B and hepatitis-C are available but not always in the right areas. And screening for hepatitis is not always affordable for the world’s poor. Thus, the goal of eliminating hepatitis is doable, and is the ultimate goal of World Hepatitis Day efforts.