The World Health Organization (WHO) recently updated that Hepatitis kills more people than HIV, Malaria and Tuberculosis combined in the near future.
The organization raised the alarm over increased deaths related to Hepatitis’ viral infection during the World Hepatitis Day campaign on 28th July, 2023.
WHO defines Hepatitis as an inflammation of the liver that is caused by infectious viruses and non-infectious agents leading to a range of health problems. It happens to be one of the most fatal disease that is not handled with seriousness.
There are five known types of Hepatitis namely; Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis B and C are the ones that lead to chronic diseases in millions of people. It is estimated that over 354 million people worldwide live with either Hepatitis B or C.
Hepatitis cause liver cancer, liver cirrhosis and viral Hepatitis-related deaths. The infections are silent and do not manifest until it has progressed to primary cancer, unless, one gets tested for the virus and for most victims, testing and treatment remain beyond reach.
Most types of Hepatitis are preventable through vaccination.
Premature deaths caused by this viruses can be prevented by vaccination like the Hepatitis B (HBV) which has the Hepatitis B vaccine.
The Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone to get vaccinated for Hepatitis, that is both infants, children of all age, adolescents and even adults of up to 60 years of age.
The World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), WHO and other non-governmental organizations, national government and health bodies are advocating for awareness-creation and the elimination of viral hepatitis.
It is, therefore, recommended that those who have not take the vaccines to do so. You should also volunteer to get tested for the virus and know your status. Expectant mothers should get screened for hepatitis. If found with the virus, get treatment early enough.
Hepatitis is a serious threat to the society. It needs to be addressed with immediate effect. Everyone stands a chance to save themselves and others from this disease. We can fight viral hepatitis as early as at now.
By Matildah Obaigwa