World commemorates World Hepatitis Day, spreading awareness on liver disease

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read

On 28 July every year, the world commemorates World Hepatitis Day (WHD). The WHD is an initiative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) to spread awareness about liver disease.

Worldwide, 300 million people are living unaware with viral hepatitis. Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost.

According to WHO’s official report, viral hepatitis affected 325 million people worldwide in 2015, with 257 million people living with hepatitis B and 71 million people living with hepatitis C—the two main killers of the five types of hepatitis. But, before we talk about causes, prevention, and dietary changes for hepatitis, let’s understand what hepatitis is and how it affects people. Hepatitis is a viral infection that causes inflammation in the liver. The most common types of hepatitis are hepatitis A, B, C, and E. There is another type of hepatitis—hepatitis D—which only occurs in people who are already infected with the hepatitis B virus. People who are not already infected with hepatitis B can prevent hepatitis D by getting vaccinated against hepatitis B.

The organisation said that this year’s campaign will focus on the theme “Test. Treat. Hepatitis”, aiming to support a scale-up of hepatitis prevention, testing, treatment, and care services, with specific focus on promoting WHO testing and treatment recommendations, to showcase best practices and promote universal health coverage of hepatitis services, and to improve partnerships and funding in the fight against viral hepatitis.

Egypt has achieved a real achievement in curing hepatitis C. The experience was praised by different international bodies, including the WHO, after curing about two million patients in the country, by the lowest cost of medicine worldwide, at $78, which opened up the prospect of medical tourism in the country.

Egypt is the nation most affected by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and needs a comprehensive characterisation of HCV epidemiology to inform the scale-up of treatment and prevention programmes, according to a new study published in Nature’s Scientific Reports journal.

Globally, some 700,000 people die every year from liver disease related to hepatitis C, according to the WHO.

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