World Hepatitis Day, July 28, find the missing millions

Medical equipment in diagnosing Hepatitis, a doctor wearing a glove and an inscription written hepatitis on it
Tochi Juliet

July 28 of every year is marked as World Hepatitis Day, WHD and the theme of this year's celebration is tagged 'find the missing millions'.

It is a day dedicated to increasing the global awareness and understanding of viral hepatitis and the diseases that it causes.

Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a group of viruses known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E virus. On the other hand, the liver is the largest internal organ.

It has several vital functions it performs such as removal of harmful substances from the blood, break down and storage of many of the nutrients absorbed from the intestines as well as the production of the chemicals that prevent excessive bleeding from cuts or injuries.

According to the world hepatitis day organisation records, 290 million people worldwide are living with viral hepatitis unaware.

Globally, infection with Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) or Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) is the leading cause of liver cancer, making hepatitis a target disease of the Big War Against Cancer.

It has been said that with better awareness, Hepatitis and Cancer can be prevented.

A flyer in celebration of World Hepatitis day

The theme of this year’s World Hepatitis Day is FIND THE MISSING MILLIONS as noted earlier.

It is a clarion call for everyone to take action and raise awareness to find the ignorant multitudes, who are unaware of their hepatitis infection. In this case, ignorance is not an excuse.

Viral Hepatitis, and its Spread

Viral Hepatitis is one of the most contagious diseases in the world. It spreads through contaminated blood, intravenous drug abuse and sexual contact with an infected person.

The infection can also occur during medical procedures, tattooing, or through the use of razors and other sharp objects that are contaminated with infected blood.

Most cases of Hepatitis are asymptomatic. When symptoms do occur, they may include yellow skin or eyes (jaundice), nausea, abdominal pain, fatigue and fever.

One of the most successful ways of preventing Hepatitis is vaccination against hepatitis B. Hepatitis B is incurable for now.

Other preventive measures include: avoid sharing of sharp objects like needles, toothbrushes, razors or nail scissors and screening of blood donation products.

Safer sex practices, including minimising the number of partners and using barrier protective measures (condoms), also protect against transmission.

As the world celebrates World Hepatitis Day, know your Hepatitis statues today and educate your friends and families. Let's join hands and fight Hepatitis.

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