Every July 28th, the World Health Organization, alongside other institutions, observe World Hepatitis Day. This is an opportunity for global medical professionals to come together and recognise the issues relating to the condition.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver which leads to severe illnesses and liver cancer. Now, more than ever, more research and understanding is needed, as there is currently an unexplained rise in acute hepatitis infections affecting children. It does not appear to be any of the five recognised types of hepatitis viruses - A,B,C,D, or E.
Acute Hepatitis infections can be difficult to spot within communities as symptoms may be mild. In fact, only 10% of people with Hepatitis B are diagnosed worldwide. In more severe cases, there is a high risk of fatality and WHO estimates around 78 000 people died in 2019 from Hepatitis A to E related complications. According to the World Hepatitis Alliance, this equates to one person dying every 30 seconds.
WHA are running a campaign this year in line with World Hepatitis Day called ‘I Can’t Wait’. It aims to place the focus on global inequalities in both testing and treatments of the infection, alongside ending the stigma and discrimination sufferers can face.
This year, July 28th is a chance to familiarise yourself with WHO’s plan to eradicate all types of Hepatitis by 2030. There are many ways they are working to do so, but the main focus currently is to encourage countries to reach the following targets:
You can find more information about this project on the WHO website.