Every 30 seconds, one person dies from a hepatitis-related illness. The urgency to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030 is encapsulated in this year’s World Hepatitis Day theme, “Hepatitis can't wait.”
World Hepatitis Day is observed each year on July 28 to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer and can lead to death. There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis B and C are common causes of death.
The theme “Hepatitis can't wait” conveys a strong message that there must be more significant efforts to act on viral hepatitis, even in the current COVID-19 pandemic. Every year, 1.3 million lives are lost each year to Hepatitis! To prevent hepatitis-related death, there must be greater awareness on the issue. It is critical that screening and treatment services are widely available and accessible. Furthermore, funding for hepatitis elimination and ending stigma and discrimination are crucial to encourage regular screening.