In May 2010, the 63 World Health Assembly (a forum of WHO and world's highest health policy setting body) endorsed World Hepatitis Day and the date was changed to 28 July in honour of Nobel Laureate Dr. Baruch Blumberg (his birthdate), who discovered the Hepatitis B virus in 1967 and developed the first vaccine for Hepatitis B two years later.
Globally around 400 million people are infected with the hepatitis B virus in the world today and a prime reason for it is liver failure and cancer.
National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh Secretary General Prof Mohammad Ali said it was astonishing that 9 out of 10 people infected with hepatitis were unaware that they had the virus.
During the day long proceedings, visitors were screened for hepatitis C, received hepatitis B vaccination and went through ultrasound of the abdomen to ascertain the possibility for any liver disease.
She was relieved to discover that testing and treatment are covered by the health insurance system in Mongolia, now a world leader in combating a high hepatitis burden.
It defined a global reduction of 90 per cent in incidents of the disease and 65 per cent in mortality from hepatitis B and hepatitis C by 2030.
Hepatitis is widespread in India, standing fourth among 11 countries which carry nearly 50 per cent of the global burden of chronic hepatitis. The campaign aims to spread awareness about hepatitis, its symptoms, treatment and prevention. "Over 70% of people diagnosed with hepatitis were provided with life-saving treatment". Nearly 60% of liver cancer cases arise out of late detection and treatment of the infection.
"The elimination of viral hepatitis is an individual goal for millions of men, women and children across the world". The seminar was attended by the representatives of blood banks, blood donor organizations, NGOs, university and college students and other partners.
The infectious liver disease is caused by the Hepatitis C virus.
Approximately 1 in 12 persons worldwide, or some 500 million people, are living with chronic viral hepatitis.
NLFB will also conduct free hepatitis B & C screening in its office on World Hepatitis Day along with several other awareness building activities.
According to her, the Hepatitis B vaccine given at birth together with infant vaccination prevents over 95 percent of new infections that lead to liver cancer in later life, while for Hepatitis C, newly available treatment can cure the infection in nearly all patients within 12 weeks.
As with HBV, HCV is spread through direct exposure to blood or bodily fluids. People who were infected often presented later with jaundice, fatigue, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and dark urine or pale stools, he said.
To make that happen, health workers must have better access to quality point-of-care diagnostics and laboratory testing. Over the past five years, the rate of acute hepatitis C cases in Wisconsin has increased by 143% (Wisconsin Department of Health Services).
Treatment for hepatitis C is now on the cutting-edge of medicine.