World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28. India is among the 11 countries carrying almost 50 per cent of the global burden of chronic hepatitis.
Every year, WorldHealth Organization accords a theme to the Day. People who are not already infected with hepatitis B can prevent hepatitis D by getting vaccinated against hepatitis B. At least 60% of liver cancer cases are due to late testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C. Low coverage of testing and treatment is the most important gap to be addressed in order to achieve the global elimination goals by 2030.
Now 325 million men, women and children across the world are living with viral hepatitis.
But for most people with chronic hepatitis, the story does not end happily.
So, what exactly is hepatitis? . So does a vaccine and treatment for Hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B and C are not transmitted by food, water or sharing of utensils or shaking hands.
According to Dr. Akash Shukla, Consultant Hepatologist & Liver Transplant Physician, Global Hospital, "The challenge in eliminating chronic viral hepatitis is due to the infected person being unaware of their chronic carrier status and to the potential for them to continue to infect others for decades".
There are an estimated 2-4 million people in the United States, 5 to 10 million people in Europe and about 15 million people in India who are chronically infected with HCV.
The theme for this year -Eliminate Hepatitis - was highlighted through a health talk by Saikia where the significance of adopting preventive measures for reducing the spread of hepatitis B and C virus was explained. Absence of symptoms often leads to progressive liver damage before a person becomes aware of their HCV infection. These symptoms should never be ignored. World Hepatitis Day has generated massive public and media interest, as well as support from governments and Non-Governmental Organisations.
"It also allows viral hepatitis to spread". Since September 1991 all blood is screened for hepatitis C in the United Kingdom, but cases are still emerging from blood transfusions prior to 1991. Secondary risk factors include tattooing, mother-to-child transmission at birth and unprotected sex. It causes inflammation of the liver and can cause either acute or chronic infection or inflammation of this organ.
Viral hepatitis accounts for 1.34-million deaths per year globally and with this free clinic, Positive living North hopes to help stop the spread of the virus.
A vaccine against hepatitis B has been available since 1982, which is 95 per cent effective in preventing infection and the development of chronic disease and liver cancer, the global health agency said.
According to her, the Hepatitis B vaccine given at birth together with infant vaccination prevents over 95 percent of new infections that lead to liver cancer in later life, while for Hepatitis C, newly available treatment can cure the infection in nearly all patients within 12 weeks.
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