World Hepatitis Day
28 July 2018
Test. Treat. Hepatitis
Viral hepatitis B and C are major health challenges, affecting 325 million people globally. They are root causes of liver cancer, leading to 1.34 million deaths every year.
Hepatitis B and C are chronic infections that may not show symptoms for a long period, sometimes years or decades. At least 60% of liver cancer cases are due to late testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C. Low coverage of testing and treatment is the most important gap to be addressed in order to achieve the global elimination goals by 2030.
WHO will focus on the theme: "Test. Treat. Hepatitis" for World Hepatitis Day 2018 events. WHO events and activities can aim to achieve the following objectives globally, in regions and in countries:
To support scale-up of hepatitis prevention, testing, treatment and care services, with specific focus on promoting WHO testing and treatment recommendations;
To showcase best practices and promote universal health coverage of hepatitis services; and
To improve partnerships and funding in the fight against viral hepatitis
... Timely testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C can save lives.
The World Hepatitis Alliance, London, 28 July 2018 notes that the vast majority - 290 million - living with hepatitis B or hepatitis C are unaware that they have it, and therefore cannot access treatment.
'The key barriers to the diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis [are]:
- Lack of public knowledge of the disease
- Lack of knowledge of viral hepatitis among healthcare professionals
- Lack of easily accessible testing
- Stigma and discrimination
- Out of pocket costs for the population'
I have written to the World Hepatitis Alliance to offer HIFA as a platform to help explore and address these issues.
Best wishes, Neil
Let's build a future where people are no longer dying for lack of healthcare information - Join HIFA: www.hifa.org
HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - www.hifa.org ), a global community with more than 18,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on five global forums in three languages. He also currently chairs the Dgroups Foundation (www.dgroups.info), which supports 800 communities of practice on international development, health and social justice. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: facebook.com/HIFAdotORG firstname.lastname@example.org