World Hepatitis Day 2020: “Hepatitis-free future”
World Hepatitis Day (WHD) is commemorated each year on 28 July to enhance awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer. WHD takes places every year on 28 July bringing the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change.
There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus – A, B, C, D and E. Together, hepatitis B and C are the most common cause of deaths, with 1.3 million lives lost each year. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, viral hepatitis continues to claim thousands of lives every day.
- 325 million people are living with viral hepatitis B and C
- 900,000 deaths per year caused by hepatitis B virus infection
- 10 % of people living with hepatitis B and 19% living with hepatitis C know their hepatitis status
- 42 % of children, globally, have access to the birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine
This year’s theme is “Hepatitis-free future,” with a strong focus on preventing hepatitis B among mothers and newborns.
WHO is calling on all countries to work together to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030
- PREVENT infection among newborns. All newborns should be vaccinated against hepatitis B at birth, followed by at least 2 additional doses.
- STOP TRANSMISSION from MOTHER to CHILD. All pregnant women should be routinely tested for hepatitis B, HIV and syphilis and receive treatment if needed.
- LEAVE NO ONE BEHIND. Everyone should have access to hepatitis prevention, testing and treatment services, including people who inject drugs, people in prisons, migrants, and other highly-affected populations.
- EXPAND access to testing and treatment. Timely testing and treatment of viral hepatitis can prevent liver cancer and other severe liver diseases.
- MAINTAIN essential hepatitis services during COVID-19. Prevention and care services for hepatitis – such as infant immunization, harm reduction services and continuous treatment of chronic hepatitis B – are essential even during the pandemic.
Source of Information WHO & World Hepatitis Day
National Public Health Laboratory (NPHL)
World Immunization Week 2020 #VaccinesWork for All
Six WHO South-East Asia countries felicitated for public health achievements