Hepatitis Can’t Wait

Human Wrongs Watch

By World Health Organization*

World Hepatitis Day- 28 July 2021



  • 1,100,000 deaths per year caused by Hepatitis B and C infections
  • 9,400,000 people are receiving treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus infection
  • 10% of people who have chronic infection with hepatitis B virus are diagnosed, and 22% of which receive treatment
  • 42% of children, globally, have access to the birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine

World Hepatitis Day is observed each year on 28 July to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer.

This year’s theme is “Hepatitis Can’t Wait”.

With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness – even in the current COVID-19 crisis – we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis.

There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus – A, B, C, D and E. Together, hepatitis B and C are the most common which result in 1.1 million deaths and 3 million new infections per year.

A hepatitis-free future is achievable with a united effort. WHO is calling on all countries to work together to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

Key messages


Messages for the public:

  • People living with hepatitis can’t wait for life saving treatments.
  • Hepatitis B testing and treatment for pregnant women can’t wait. We can prevent  transmission from mothers to their babies
  • Newborn babies can’t wait for their hepatitis B vaccination at birth
  • People affected by hepatitis can’t wait to be protected against stigma and discrimination.
  • Community organisations can’t wait for greater investment.
  • Decision makers can’t wait and must act now to make hepatitis elimination a reality through political will and funding.

Messages for policy makers:

  • Integration of viral hepatitis elimination with other health services can’t wait.
  • Funding hepatitis care can’t wait.
  • Triple elimination of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV, hepatitis B and syphilis can’t wait.
  • Validating hepatitis elimination efforts in countries can’t wait.
  • Universal health coverage for all people with hepatitis can’t wait. Starting now means saving lives.

Messages for National leaders:

  • Setting national hepatitis elimination targets can’t wait. A world without viral hepatitis by 2030 starts with your country.
  • Caring for the most vulnerable people with hepatitis can’t wait. Be it young children or people who inject drugs, some people are more exposed and at risk – their lives matter.
  • Scaling up of essential hepatitis services can’t wait.
  • Engaging communities in hepatitis services can’t wait.
  • Decision makers can’t wait and must act now to make hepatitis elimination a reality through political will and funding.

uhc-day-2021-themeFact sheets

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