The establishment of World Hepatitis Day has a lot of dates in its history. The first International Hepatitis C Awareness Day was celebrated on 1st October 2004, by a number of European and Middle Eastern Patient Groups and Baby Muriel. However, there were many groups that continued to mark this day on disparate days.
The origin of Hepatitis Day took place in Cuttack, Odisha. Professor SP Singh, Head of the Dept of Gastroenterology, SCB Cuttack put forward the idea of celebrating this day at the institute on 28th July. This was then adopted as a resolution during the 63rd World Health Assembly, May 2010. Since then the day has been dedicated towards the endorsement of awareness-raising efforts nationally and internationally. The day also pays tribute to Nobel Laureate Baruch Samuel Blumberg who discovered the Hepatitis B virus as he celebrated his birthday on 28th July.
World Hepatitis Day is now celebrated in over 100 countries through events such as poster campaigns, demonstrations, talks, screenings, and flash mobs among other initiatives. Each year the day is celebrated focusing on a different theme. The host country this year in Pakistan and the global events will be held in Islamabad.
The importance of the day cannot be stressed enough as the diseases have been ignored for years. With around 1.34 million people dying every year due to hepatitis, which is the same as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis, it is a major area often overlooked by governments and medical awareness programs. The WHO is urging all its members and people around the world to work in this regard and help achieve the aim of hepatitis elimination globally by 2030.
The most common types of hepatitis include hepatitis A virus, hepatitis B virus, and hepatitis C virus. It results in the swelling of the liver, liver scarring, and at times even, liver cancer or failure. ASPEN HCV test kits are often used to help detect the hepatitis C virus and determining the kind of treatment required by the patient. Doctors also advise the use of Hepatitis protection kit for those who live in conditions that make you prone to catching the disease.
With associations all over the world working towards eliminating the disease from the globe, it is surely a matter of time before we can talk about hepatitis in the past tense!