World Health Organization announces landmark achievement in elimination of hepatitis B

World Health Organization announces landmark achievement in elimination of hepatitis B

In 2020 the theme is "Find the Missing Millions".

World Hepatitis Day, this year (2020), is being commemorated under the theme "Hepatitis-free future" that focuses on preventing hepatitis B among mothers and new-borns. Some patients with viral Hepatitis A, B and E can present with sudden deterioration, jaundice, drowsiness and coma, often referred to as acute liver failure.

Eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HBV is also an important stepping stone for reaching the targets of WHO's global hepatitis strategy, which aims to reduce new hepatitis infections by 90% and deaths by 65%, compared to 2015 levels. Hepatitis is a group of disorders that causes liver inflammation.

According to a new modelling study conducted by Imperial College London in collaboration with World Health Organization, disruptions to the hepatitis B vaccination programme due to the pandemic could have a serious impact on efforts to reach the targets of the global strategy.

The prevalence of hepatitis in the world is said to be epidemic, which affects hundreds of millions of people world-wide, and killing close to 1.34 million individuals every year.

Eminent hepatologist from Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center (JPMC) Dr Nazish Butt said that as most people living with hepatitis remained unaware, they could require repeated hospitalisation, expensive medicines and liver transplants, causing major financial burdens for their families as well as for the health system. Business Insider spoke with Dr. Ahmad, Senior Consultant, Minimal Invasive Laparoscopic & Endoscopic Gastrosurgery, Medeor Hospital regarding some of the common roots of transmission for Hepatitis B and C. "Inadequate sterilisation and lack of cleanliness are the main causes of the spread of this virus", he claimed.

Hepatitis is a liver disease that causes the liver to get inflamed. However, these are transmitted by consuming contaminated food and water and can cause significant outbreaks. Avoid excessive consumption of alcohol, processed food with high sodium and fat content, and the use of narcotics as these can all damage the liver over a period of time and result in chronic liver disease.

In case you think you have witnessed any of the mentioned symptoms, it is suggested you visit a doctor and strictly follow all the adviceadvice given to you. Before travelling to any country which is endemic to a type of Hepatitis, ensure that you take the vaccination. The CDC recommends administration of Hepatitis B vaccine to all newborns. Hepatitis D, usually occurs in conjunction with Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B and C especially pose a serious threat to India as suggested by the numbers.

A well balanced diet is key to help prevent any liver disease. In the current scenario, it is vital to get a test and have the medications started, as those with pre-existing health conditions are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 virus. Liver cancer is also a leading cause of cancer deaths worldwide, accounting for over700,000 deaths each year (over 1,900 deaths daily).

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