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Friday, July 29, 2022

World Hepatitis Day 2022: Hepatitis causes many dangerous diseases including liver cancer, how to protect

 World Hepatitis Day 2022: Hepatitis causes many dangerous diseases including liver cancer, how to protect

World Hepatitis Day is observed every year on 28 July to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, which causes inflammation of the liver that leads to severe disease and liver cancer.

The world is currently facing a new outbreak of unexplained acute hepatitis infections affecting children. WHO, together with scientists and policy-makers in affected countries, are working to understand the cause of this infection that does not appear to belong to any of the known 5 types of viral hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D and E.

This new outbreak brings focus on thousands of acute viral hepatitis infections that occur among children, adolescents and adults every year. Most acute hepatitis infections cause mild disease and even go undetected. But, in some cases, they can lead to complications and be fatal.

Global efforts prioritize the elimination of hepatitis B and C infections. Unlike acute viral hepatitis, hepatitis B and C lead to chronic disease that is asymptomatic for many years, resulting in cirrhosis, liver cancer and death. In the WHO European Region, hepatitis B and C are responsible for more than 100 000 lives lost every year.

While we have the guidance and tools to diagnose, treat and prevent chronic viral hepatitis, these services are often out of reach of communities and are sometimes only available at centralized or specialized hospitals.

On World Hepatitis Day 2022, WHO is highlighting the need to bring hepatitis treatment and care closer to primary health-care facilities and communities so that people have better access no matter what type of hepatitis they may have.

WHO aims to achieve hepatitis elimination by 2030. To get there, WHO calls on countries to achieve specific interim targets by 2025:

to reduce new infections of hepatitis B and C by 50%

to reduce deaths from liver cancer by 40%

to ensure that 60% of people with hepatitis B and C virus are diagnosed

to ensure that 50% of those eligible receive appropriate treatment.

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