World Hepatitis Day 2018
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World Hepatitis Day 2018

July 28th marks World Hepatitis Day. This disease is one of the major causes of death in the world and affects millions of people. As a healthcare threat, it requires strong attention from the international healthcare community. As such, World Hepatitis Day is an opportunity to raise awareness about the disease, its treatment, and prevention. This year, the central theme is “Find the Mission Millions.”

World Hepatitis Day 2018

Why Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is one of the biggest viral threats in the world today. According to the World Health Organization, the disease affects 325 million people every year. It causes 1.34 million deaths annually. It is also the cause of 2 in 3 liver cancer deaths.

There are 5 different groups of hepatitis infections:  A, B, C, D, and E. Each has a different form of transmission, symptoms, and effects. For example, a person can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or drink. Hepatitis C is passed along through infected blood.

Some types of hepatitis are acute. This means that they show immediate symptoms but pass rather quickly. Others, like B, C, and D, can turn into a chronic form. In fact, some infected people may not experience any symptoms for years or even decades. But in the long-run, this means lifetime issues related to hepatitis. In its worst form, hepatitis can be lethal. Viruses are also spread through contact with contaminated food or water. You can either receive vaccines for Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B separately but you can also get a combined vaccine. Furthermore, here is a great resource about 25 diseases that can be immunized.

World Hepatitis Day 2018

World Hepatitis Day 2018

World Hepatitis Day is part of the global elimination strategy of hepatitis. Additionally, fighting the disease is among the Sustainable Development Goals. The objective of this day is to raise awareness around hepatitis, its prevention, diagnosis, and treatment.

Today, there is already a cure for hepatitis C. Additionally, there are a vaccine and treatment for hepatitis B. However, there is not enough coverage, funding, or awareness about the disease. This means that many people who have hepatitis do not know about it. Also, it goes underdiagnosed or undertreated in many places around the world.

On World Hepatitis Day, the global health community will come together to combat this disease. The World Hepatitis Alliance is one of the leading bodies striving for the elimination of hepatitis. Its 240 members in over 80 countries actively fight to stop the disease from spreading and help treat those who are afflicted by it.

World Hepatitis Day 2018

Find the Missing Millions

The central theme for this year is part of a 3-year campaign titled “Find the Missing Millions.” Of the 345 million affected by hepatitis, 300 million are unaware of even having the disease. This is a dire circumstance since they will not seek and receive treatment if not diagnosed. At the same time, the spread of the disease continues at a higher rate since it is viral.

Through the campaign, the global hepatitis prevention community hopes to reach as many people as possible. They want to scale-up hepatitis prevention, testing, diagnosis, and treatment. The slogan of the campaign is “Test. Treat. Hepatitis.” If you’d like to be part of the fight against hepatitis, share this message on your social media. You can use the campaign materials to raise awareness across your networks.

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