"Viral hepatitis B and C are major health challenges, affecting 325 million people globally". What is alarming is that Hepatitis B and C are chronic infections with the symptoms remaining dormant for as long as decades and at least 60 per cent of liver cancer occurs because of delay in the testing and treatment of viral Hepatitis B and C. Around 70-80% of people with Hepatitis B or C do not even have any symptoms. Hence in 2008, World Hepatitis Alliance along with numerous patient groups declared May 19 as Hepatitis Day. Additionally, people born in regions where hepatitis C is more common, such as in the Philippines where approximately one million people have hepatitis C, should also talk to their doctor about getting tested.
Viral hepatitis are the Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses. The disease is caused by a viral infection though there could be other causes of hepatitis. In addition, maintaining hygiene, avoiding roadside food and beverage, being careful in salons and tatoo parlours for avoiding infections and washing hands can help protect us from hepatitis, the experts suggested. Hepatitis B can be managed with highly effective medicines. This is despite the fact that the number of people chronically infected with, and the number of deaths caused by, hepatitis B and C is on the same scale as these conditions.
The Western Pacific Region has the largest number of people living with chronic hepatitis infections among the 6 World Health Organization regions. The country aims to provide hepatitis B and C screening to 1.8 million people aged over 15 years. Eventually the society is burdened with loss of productive workforce, and the health care system with expenses of treating liver failures, chronic liver diseases, and cancers. Babies should get a first dose of the hepatitis B vaccine at birth. While deaths from tuberculosis and HIV have been declining, deaths from hepatitis are increasing.
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On 22 February 2018, the Ministry of Health announced the launch of the hepatitis C field inspections in the remanding 10 governorates, as a part of the Ministry's nation-wide initiative to eliminate the spread of the Hepatitis C by 2022.
To prevent a hepatitis infection, you should become extra conscious of your surroundings and their hygiene. World Hepatitis Day has generated massive public and media interest, as well as support from governments and Non-Governmental Organisations.
WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, said in a statement: "We have a clear vision for elimination, and we have the tools to do it".