Achieving a hepatitis-free future

In view of the world hepatitis day which is commemorated each year on 28 July to enhance awareness of viral hepatitis, WHO is emphasizing on the need for a hepatitis free future.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer

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.

This year’s theme is “Hepatitis-free future,” with a strong focus on preventing hepatitis B among mothers and newborns.

On 28 July, WHO will publish new recommendations on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the virus.

A hepatitis-free future is achievable with a united effort

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: WHO

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