‘Elimination’ is this year’s theme for the World Hepatitis Day, observed every year on the 28th July by World Health Organization (WHO). 2016 is a pivotal year for viral hepatitis where WHO Member States are set to adopt the first ever Elimination Strategy for Viral Hepatitis, with ambitious targets and a goal to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.
To leverage this global elimination movement Association of Hospital (AOH) calls on the general population to take rapid action to improve knowledge about the disease, and to increase access to testing and treatment services. Today, only 1 in 20 people with viral hepatitis know they have it and just 1 in 100 with the disease is being treated.
Dr. PM Bhujang, President, Association of Hospital while suggesting measures said, “It’s an important day, to help educate people on Viral Hepatitis. This particular initiative helps in creating awareness around Viral Hepatitis and what needs to be done to prevent it as it is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality here in India. Hepatitis B and C have been associated with liver cancer, and so it’s important to be aware of that fact and know that certain individuals at risk for hepatitis B should be screened, People who are at risk for hepatitis C should also undergo proper screening every 6 months. It is also important that everybody should take proper precautions to prevent hepatitis A & B. Vaccines are available for this purpose.”
According to WHO, around the world 400 million people are infected with hepatitis B and C, more than 10 times the number of people living with HIV. An estimated 1.45 million people died of the disease in 2013 – up from less than a million in 1990.