Medicine

NLFB observes WHO World Hepatitis Day on Saturday

NLFB observes WHO World Hepatitis Day on Saturday

-World Hepatitis Day is one of eight official public global campaigns marked by the World Health Organization (WHO), along with World Health Day, World AIDS Day, World Tuberculosis Day, World Blood Donor Day, World No Tobacco Day, World Malaria Day and World Immunization Week. Globally, out of the 325 million people who live with hepatitis, only 9 percent and 20 percent of those infected with hepatitis B and C respectively have been diagnosed.

Timely testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C can save lives. Without treatment, hepatitis C can lead to serious liver problems, including cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) or liver cancer.

Positive Living North is celebrating World Hepatitis Day by hosting free testing and a barbecue.

To coincide with World Hepatitis Day on July 28, Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust's Viral Hepatitis Team will be raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of hepatitis among the public and health professionals. However, the liver is one of the few organs in the human body that has regenerative properties which means it takes years before the symptoms show up and that is why it often goes undetected unless you get it checked.

Hepatitis B virus may infect other members of the family; hence, all members of the family of an infected person should undergo screening tests.

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According to Dr. Akash Shukla, Consultant Hepatologist & Liver Transplant Physician, Global Hospital, "The challenge in eliminating chronic viral hepatitis is due to the infected person being unaware of their chronic carrier status and to the potential for them to continue to infect others for decades". Of these, almost 25%, i.e. over 1 million, may develop chronic liver disease within 2 decades and 1%-4% of them may develop liver cancer. Until recently, hepatitis C was an untreatable chronic disease.

Treatment for hepatitis C is now on the cutting-edge of medicine. Prevention of hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission from infected mothers to their new-borns is critical to HBV control and eventual eradication.

The good news was that hepatitis B could be prevented through routine vaccinations.

Hepatitis is a term used to describe the inflammation of the liver as a result of viral infection or exposure to harmful or toxic substances such as drugs or alcohol.

A postal stamp was also launched on the occasion to sensitise people and spread awareness about the disease. "For Hepatitis E and Hepatitis A virus infections, hygiene and sanitation play a major role, while for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C, lifestyle and awareness are extremely important" he added. Vaccines are available for Hepatitis B, but not for Hepatitis C. There are around five types of Hepatitis but Hepatitis B virus is known to lower sperm motility and impairs fertility in male population.