World Hepatitis Day takes place every year on 28 July, with the aim of bringing the world together under one single theme in order to raise awareness of viral hepatitis and the impact it has worldwide. The theme for World Hepatitis Day 2018 is “Eliminate Hepatitis”.
Hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus are the leading cause of liver cancer in the world, yet more than 80% of those affected with viral hepatitis are unaware of their status. Viral hepatitis does not restrict itself to one specific region or people, but is found worldwide making it a global epidemic.
There are many effective vaccines and treatments available for hepatitis B and C and eliminating viral hepatitis is highly achievable. According to the World Health Organization’s Global Strategy of Viral Hepatitis, the goal is to do so by 2030.
The question is, how? There are 325 million people living with viral hepatitis in the world, yet up to 290 million of these are unaware that they have it. In recognition of this, The World Hepatitis Alliance is launching a campaign in association with World Hepatitis Day, which aims to focus on ‘finding the missing millions’. The three-year awareness campaign aims to educate, influence national screening policies and encourage more people to get tested with the hope of finding the missing millions and reducing further spread of the virus. To accompany the campaign, a white paper is being written to provide stakeholders with information on how to reach the goal.
The World Hepatitis Alliance is urging people to get involved by spreading awareness and building momentum, driving action and holding governments accountable. Alongside this, you can show your support by signing up to the campaign in order to help ‘find the missing millions’.