Tomorrow (July 28) is World Hepatitis Day, and I am making a last minute appeal for your help. World Hepatitis Day provides an opportunity for us to raise awareness about the shattering effects of viral hepatitis. It is not just another day. It is a day we can make a difference.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has set only 8 international awareness days. In addition to World Hepatitis Day, there is World TB Day, World Health Day, World Immunization Week, World Malaria Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Blood Donor Day and World AIDS Day.

Viral hepatitis has earned the right to set aside a day to increase awareness across the globe. According to the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), 1.3 million people die as a result of viral hepatitis infection. WHA states,

Chronic hepatitis B and C are life-threatening infectious diseases that cause serious liver damage, cancer, and premature death. More than 300 million people are infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV) or the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and are at risk of developing escalating health problems. HBV and HCV are responsible for more than half of all new liver cancer cases and one in every 12 cancer deaths. Whereas the burden of other major infectious diseases such as HIV, TB, and malaria is decreasing due to investment, hepatitis has been neglected, resulting in more and more people dying from hepatitis B and C.”

Please, don’t turn your back on the devastating effects of viral hepatitis. Get involved, not just tomorrow, but for all the days it takes to eliminate hepatitis B and C, along with hep A, D and E.

Click here to learn more about World Hepatitis Day, and find ways to get involved.