World Hepatitis Day “Hepatitis-free future”
World Hepatitis Day is commemorated each year on July 28 to enhance awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems. There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus: A, B, C, D, and E. Together, hepatitis B and C are the most common cause of deaths, with 1.4 million lives lost each year. Viral hepatitis B and C continues to affect 325 million people globally.
Hepatitis ranks second on the list of major killer infectious diseases after tuberculosis. Although hepatitis is a preventable and treatable disease, and even curable, in case of infection with hepatitis C, more than 80% of people living with hepatitis have no access to prevention, examination and treatment services.
The World Health Organization has chosen the slogan "Hepatitis-free future" for this year. WHO is calling on all countries to work together by strengthening national and international efforts to eliminate hepatitis by 2030, and urges policymakers at both the national and international levels to increase their political and financial commitments in order to respond to viral hepatitis, which requires investment of about $ 6 billion annually - instead of $ 0.5 billion in 2016 – in order to achieve the targeted results to eliminate the disease globally by 2030.
In the context of the global attention accorded to the hepatitis epidemic, we would like to recall that Egypt launched in October 2018 (the Presidential Initiative for the detection of C virus and noncommunicable diseases – the "100 million healthier lives” campaign), which covered the governorates of Egypt in 3 consecutive phases. The 3rd phase ended in April 2019, the campaign was a success: about 60 million citizens were tested and more than 1.1 million citizens were treated.
July 28 was chosen to commemorate World Hepatitis Day, as this day marks the birth anniversary of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Baruch Blumberg, who is known for discovering hepatitis B virus and developing a test for diagnosis as well as a vaccine.