WORLD HEPATITIS DAY 2020 – Find The Missing Millions!
Before we dive into our discussion on World Hepatitis Day, let’s get to know a few facts about Hepatitis!
Hepatitis is an inflammatory condition of the liver. It is most commonly caused by the Hepatitis virus, although alcohol, hepatotoxic drugs and autoimmunity can also be contributing factors.
When referring to hepatitis, we mostly refer to viral hepatitis, as it is the most common type of hepatitis across the world.
Hepatitis can lead to fibrosis(scarring), liver cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma, and hence a matter of concern.
Hepatitis is caused by 5 types of Hepatitis viruses: A, B , C, D and E.
Hepatitis A and E are acquired by ingestion of contaminated food and water.
Hepatitis B,C and D can be transmitted perinatally (during childbirth), vertically (from mother to child), parenterally (from contaminated blood or blood products and equipment) and also through sexual intercourse with an infected person.
Now that we have a fair idea about hepatitis, let’s dive into today’s topic: WORLD HEPATITIS DAY!
World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July bringing the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change.
It’s also an opportunity for us to increase awareness and encourage a real political change to jointly facilitate prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
So, every year, there is a theme for World Hepatitis Day! Let us take a peek into this year’s theme!
The theme for World Hepatitis Day 2020 is FIND THE MISSING MILLIONS!
Did you know?
There are a WHOPPING 290 MILLION people living with viral hepatitis unawares in the world today?! That is a pretty huge number!
Without finding the undiagnosed and
them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost.
This year, WHD aims to spread awareness about this condition and prevent the spread of hepatitis and also to encourage early diagnosis and treatment.
World Health Organisation (WHO) is calling on all countries to work together to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.
PREVENT infection among newborns. All newborns should be vaccinated against hepatitis B at birth, followed by at least 2 additional doses.
STOP TRANSMISSION from MOTHER to CHILD. All pregnant women should be routinely tested for hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis and receive treatment if needed.
LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND. Everyone should have access to hepatitis prevention, testing and treatment services, including people who inject drugs, people in prisons, migrants, and other highly-affected populations.
EXPAND access to testing and treatment. Timely testing and treatment of viral hepatitis can prevent liver cancer and other severe liver diseases.
MAINTAIN essential hepatitis services during COVID-19. Prevention and care services for hepatitis – such as infant immunization, harm reduction services and continuous treatment of chronic hepatitis B – are essential even during the pandemic.
So, with that in mind, let’s hope to have a Hepatitis-free world by 2030! Goodbye, Hepatitis virus! Your days are numbered!
Nachiketa S R