World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is celebrated on July 28 all over the world to bring global awareness of hepatitis. It’s a day to raise awareness of viral hepatitis and encourage precaution, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. This year the theme is ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait’ to convey the elimination of hepatitis by 2030. It was recognized on 28 July, the birthday of Dr. Baruch Blumberg, a Nobel-prize winner scientist who discovered the hepatitis B virus (HBV). In 1967 Dr. Baruch discovered the hepatitis B virus and later he also developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for the hepatitis B virus. The intention is further taken as the ‘28 July shall be commemorated as World Hepatitis Day to provide awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis among the people.
Hepatitis B is a disease that affects the human liver and takes the form of cirrhosis and liver cancer as well. By this disease, the body is affected when the virus targets the liver of the patient. It is a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E that is detrimental to our health.
Recent reports on viral hepatitis
According to the reports, it is found that hepatitis kills approx 1.34 million people every year. As marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is one of 11 official global public health campaigns. Recent studies show that there are 10,000 new hepatitis B infections each year, and 23,000 deaths. Only 18% of patients are diagnosed, and only 3% of them are receiving treatment. It is observed that 10% of people are still living with hepatitis B while 19% are living with hepatitis C. The annual data of viral hepatitis confirms that nearly 330 million people are living with chronic hepatitis B or C globally. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 4.4 million Americans are struggling with chronic hepatitis B and C. Even in the current COVID-19 situation it is observed that with a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis illness- we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis.
Role of World Health Organization (WHO) on World Hepatitis Day 2021
World Health Organization is making an effort to unite all countries to come and work together just to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. This year World Health Organization (WHO) is hosting a global talk show to discuss opportunities for eliminating hepatitis by 2030 and to provide a great platform for policymakers, communities, regional, national, and global leaders. At this global event contributions, stories, and online campaigns will be showcased from different WHO regions. Over 100 countries worldwide World hepatitis day (WHD) is observed every year by organizing events such as concerts, talk shows, vaccination drives, flash mobs, screenings, and poster campaigns. Many people are not even aware of what hepatitis is! And through campaigns and programs, we can aware people of this public health issue.
Following are the goals of the World Health Organization (WHO) that will help in eliminating this public threat:
The global contribution of CDC in the elimination of hepatitis
Centers For Disease Control And Prevention (CDC) is the United States federal agency that aims to protect people from health, safety, and security issues. On the day of World Hepatitis, the CDC collaborates with international partners to prevent and be aware of viral hepatitis. In June 2021, the Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) and the National Center For Disease Control And Public Health (NCDC) launched the second nationwide hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and COVID-19 serosurvey. The serosurvey will provide information towards the elimination of hepatitis and also provide interventions needed for the viral hepatitis targets. This work is expected to finish in September 2021. CDC also helps to reduce disease globally, including overseas travelers and those migrating to the United States. In 2021, CDC inaugurated the global immunization strategic framework 2021-2030 that aims to detect and prevent VPDs by strengthening immunization services globally.
Causes of hepatitis
Hepatitis B and C are communicable diseases that can be transmitted through contaminated blood, contaminated needles, and syringes in the test lab. The consumption of excessive alcohol can cause liver cancer that results in alcoholic hepatitis. This amount of alcohol injures your liver cells and damages them. Other causes of hepatitis include sharing injectable drugs, mother-to-child transmission, through wounds, with blood transfusions, breastfeeding, and during childbirth. But it can be prevented with better information and awareness about this health threat. And to do this people should seek testing and treatment if needed.
What are the symptoms of Hepatitis?
Undoubtedly, Hepatitis is a complex viral infection that causes many health issues. However, symptoms may not occur for chronic hepatitis until it damages the liver function but the most common symptoms :
Less common symptoms of hepatitis include
How hepatitis can be diagnosed?
Hepatitis is a public health threat that affects millions of people globally but we can diagnose it by the following tests:
Treatment of hepatitis
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that is affecting the lives of people but just factors there are many treatments as well. But treatments are determined by which type of hepatitis you are facing, so the following are the treatments given according to the type of hepatitis :
Hepatitis is a public health threat and is amongst the issues that people are facing worldwide. However, organizations like World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for disease control and prevention (CDC) are doing their best to eliminate this viral infectious disease. And now we must be aware and educate others to take proper treatment just to eliminate this health threat because “TOGETHER WE CAN DO MORE”.
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