When is World Hepatitis Day?

World Hepatitis Day (विश्व हेपेटाइटिस दिवस) is observed on 28th July each year.

Why is World Hepatitis Day Celebrated?

World Hepatitis Day is observed to raise awareness about viral hepatitis as a global public health issue and to encourage prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of the disease. 

In 2010, the World Health Organization (WHO) passed a resolution for it to be commemorated on 28th July as this day is the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg, the scientist who discovered the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and later developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for the same. 

Every year, the WHO and the World Hepatitis Alliance, an international non-governmental organisation, publish a report detailing the events held across the world on this day.

What is Viral Hepatitis?

Viral Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver tissue, commonly caused by hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D, and E. It can lead to severe liver disease and liver cancer. 

Hepatitis A (Hep A) is an acute (sudden onset and short-term) disease, and hepatitis B, C, and D usually become ongoing and chronic (long-term). Hepatitis E is generally acute in nature.

The signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis appear quickly, and include:

  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes (may be signs of jaundice)

  • Influenza/flu-like symptoms

  • Tiredness

  • Pale stool and dark urine

  • Loss of appetite

  • Pain in the abdomen

  • Unexplained weight loss

Since chronic hepatitis develops gradually, these symptoms may be too subtle to be noticed.

Every year, viral hepatitis affects and causes the deaths of millions of people around the world. 

According to the WHO, hepatitis B and C are the most common types and are together responsible for 1.1 million deaths and 3 million new infections per year.

What is The Theme of World Hepatitis Day 2021?

The theme for 2021 on World Hepatitis Day is “Hepatitis can’t wait”. This theme conveys the urgency needed in global efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by the year 2030. 

According to the World Hepatic Alliance, a person dies every 30 seconds from a hepatitis-related illness. Thus, even in the current COVID-19 crisis, there should not be any delay in taking action on viral hepatitis. 

Screening, treatment, and vaccination against viral hepatitis “can’t wait”. Further, ending the stigma related to viral hepatitis, investment in organisations working for communities, and contributions by policy and decision-makers towards eliminating viral hepatitis “can't wait”.

What Are The Objectives of World Hepatitis Day 2021?

The objectives of this World Hepatitis Day are:

  • To raise awareness about viral hepatitis.

  • To communicate urgency in the need for action on hepatitis immediately.

  • To reveal and stop the social injustice due to the lack of action on viral hepatitis.

  • To fight the stigma of the people and communities affected by viral hepatitis. 

  • To appreciate the global community involved in combating hepatitis.

  • To call on policymakers, decision-makers, and global funding organizations to join the cause to eliminate hepatitis.

What You Can Do?

This World Hepatitis Day, you can contribute to this fight against viral hepatitis by:

  • Discussing facts about viral hepatitis with your family, friends, and acquaintances.

  • Using your social media to pledge your commitment and join initiatives to eliminate viral hepatitis. Make informative posters and videos on viral hepatitis.

  • Having events and webinars to spread awareness about viral hepatitis.

  • Reaching out to local policymakers and appealing to them to prioritise prevention, testing, and treatment of viral hepatitis across communities. 

No action is small, and no effort goes unnoticed. Join hands with those around you to eliminate viral hepatitis and save lives.


1. World Hepatitis Day. 2021. World Hepatitis Day: Hepatitis Can't Wait. [online] Available at: <https://www.worldhepatitisday.org/> [Accessed 19 July 2021].

2. Who.int. 2021. World Hepatitis Day 2021 - Hepatitis can’t wait. [online] Available at: <https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2021/07/28/default-calendar/world-hepatitis-day-2021> [Accessed 19 July 2021].

Disclaimer: This article is written by Practo for informational and educational purposes only. The content presented on this page should not be considered as a substitute for medical expertise. Please "DO NOT SELF-MEDICATE" and seek professional help regarding any health conditions or concerns. Practo will not be responsible for any act or omission arising from the interpretation of the content present on this page.