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

This years 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.

About 9 in 10 infants who become infected go on to develop life-long, chronic infection. The risk goes down as a child gets older.

Infants can be protected from HBV through a safe and effective vaccine that provides over 95% protection against infection. WHO recommends that all infants receive a first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine as soon as possible after birth – preferably within 24 hours – followed by at least 2 additional doses.

42% of children, globally, have access to the birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine
(WHO 2021).

Child labour still exists and children, mostly from poor families, are forced to work in hazardous conditions despite facing physical, mental and social exploitation from employers. Such children are deprived of living their childhood while many also miss the opportunity of attending schools.

Slightly more than 1 in 4 children ( aged 5 -7 years) are engaged in Child Labour that is considered detrimental to their health and development. ( UNICEF Data 0ct.2019).
Child Labour at the beginning of 2020 accounting for almost 1 in 10 of all children world wide.