World hepatitis day 2016 is observed on July 28, theme is " The Prevention of Viral Hepatitis", 2014 theme is "Hepatitis: Think Again", 2013 theme is "This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it" and 2012 theme is "This is hepatitis… It’s closer than you think"
The World Hepatitis Alliance leads the campaign for the World Hepatitis Day on the 19th of May each year, to create awareness of the dangers of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C and also to encourage, testing, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. Statistics reveal that nearly one in twelve people around the world have either hepatitis B or C and if the infection is not managed on time it leads to cirrhosis of liver, liver cancer and even failure of the liver. The World Hepatitis Day is completely a patient led campaign and also aims to secure political support for its activities to minimize new infections and improve health care for people already suffering from the infection.
Viral hepatitis is caused by a virus, Hepatitis A, B, C, D or E, that results in the inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis A is the mildest of the other forms and does not result in long-term or fatal effects. Vaccine for Hepatitis A does exist and should be taken as a preventive measure.
Hepatitis B is caused by the HBV virus and is by far the most dangerous of the group, but a vaccine for it does exist.
Hepatitis C caused by the HCV virus is also dangerous, affects nearly 200 million people world wide and the WHO has given it an ‘epidemic’ status. No vaccine is available for Hepatitis C, D or E.
The third global World Hepatitis Day was held on 19th May 2010 supported by 28 patient groups in 68 countries. Working closely with WHO, a report titled ‘Viral Hepatitis Global Policy’ was published. A World Hepatitis Day music album was launched. More than 575 events were held including television advertisements and billboards across major countries were put up.
The slogan was ‘This is Hepatitis’ a continuum from the 2009 campaign of ‘Am I Number 12’, which indicates that one in every twelve people are infected by Hepatitis B or C. The emphasis in 2010 is to increase awareness and the impact of the disease. The activities took the form of interactive talks, seminars, a website and a blog as well as campaign materials like 21 posters, 10 postcard and web banners in 12 languages. The efforts resulted in major policy changes in nearly all countries regarding the Hepatitis infections and a commitment to increase the access of the ailing to better healthcare and vaccinations for others.