World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is observed on July 28 every year to raise awareness about the spread and cure of the condition. On this occasion, health organizations around the globe have urged people to act on it without further delay.
The theme for this year’s WHD is ‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait,’ which stresses the need to address Hepatitis-related issues urgently, even during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Health Alliance emphasized a number of Hepatitis-related actions that can’t wait including testing people who have viral Hepatitis and are unaware of it, life-saving treatments for people, including pregnant women diagnosed with it and birth vaccination jabs for new-borns.
To mark the day, the World Health Organization (WHO) is all set to host a global talk show which will provide a platform for “global, regional and national leaders, policymakers, communities and other stakeholders to discuss opportunities for accelerating the hepatitis response to achieve elimination by 2030.”
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis refers to a contagious infection that causes inflammation of the liver resulting in swelling and pain. The liver is a vital organ that helps in digestion, removing toxic waste, processing nutrients, among others. It also helps fight infections, but once inflamed or damaged, the liver’s normal functioning gets affected.
Viral hepatitis, which is caused by a virus can be both acute or chronic. It can cause dreaded liver disease and cancer. Alcohol abuse, toxins, heavy medications and certain medical conditions can also cause Hepatitis.
The five main strains of the hepatitis virus are — Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, Hepatitis D and Hepatitis E.
If you observe symptoms like persistent stomach pain, fatigue, jaundice, dark-colored urine, joint pain, loss of appetite, pale or clay-colored stool, low-rade fever, you should get in touch with your doctor immediately.
- Every 30 seconds, a person dies from a Hepatitis-related illness
- Hepatitis B and C are very common. Over 1 million people die and 3 million new infections surface per year as a result of these variants.
- Around 300 million people are living with Hepatitis without knowing they have it.
- There are vaccines available to treat Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.
- One of the leading causes of liver cancer is Hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis C causes liver transplants and liver cancer.