WHO global health days

World Hepatitis Day 2016: Know hepatitis - Act now

Event announcement

About World Hepatitis Day, 28 July 2016

World Hepatitis Day, 28 July 2016 is an opportunity to step up national and international efforts on hepatitis and urge partners and Member States to support the roll-out of the first Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis for 2016–2021, which was approved during the Sixty-ninth World Health Assembly in May 2016.

The new strategy introduces the first-ever global targets for viral hepatitis. These include a 30% reduction in new cases of hepatitis B and C, and a 10% reduction in mortality by 2020.

Key approaches will be to expand vaccination programmes for hepatitis B; focus on preventing mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B; improve injection, blood and surgical safety; “harm reduction” services for people who inject drugs; and increase access to diagnosis and treatment for hepatitis B and C.

World Hepatitis Day 2016 web banner

Know hepatitis - Act now

On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July 2016, WHO calls on policy-makers, health workers and the public to "Know hepatitis - Act now".

The Organization urges them to inform themselves about the infection, take positive action to know their status by getting tested, and finally seek treatment to reduce needless deaths from this preventable and treatable infection.

Activities will take place around the world to improve public knowledge of the risk of hepatitis, and enhance access to hepatitis testing and treatment services.

Know hepatitis – Are you at risk?

  • Viral hepatitis affects 400 million people globally and, given the size of the epidemic, anyone and everyone can be at risk.

Know hepatitis – Get tested

  • An estimated 95% of people with hepatitis are unaware of their infection. Hepatitis tests are complex and can be costly, with poor laboratory capacity in many countries.

Know hepatitis – Demand treatment

  • Globally, lack of awareness, and poor access to hepatitis treatment services mean that most people who need treatment do not receive it.
  • Over 90% of people with hepatitis C can be completely cured of the virus within 3–6 months.
  • Appropriate treatment of hepatitis B and C can prevent the development of the major life-threatening complications of chronic liver disease: cirrhosis and liver cancer.
  • WHO advises that by scaling up treatment, 7 million lives can be saved between 2015 and 2030, with communities benefiting from economic gains.

About hepatitis

Viral hepatitis – a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, E – affects hundreds of millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year, mostly from hepatitis B and C. It is estimated that only 5% of people with chronic hepatitis know of their infection, and less that 1% have access to treatment.

Countdown to World Hepatitis Day, 28 July 2016