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बेसिक इंग्लिश का दूसरा सत्र (कक्षा प्रारंभ : 22 अक्तूबर, शाम 3:30 से 5:30)
WORLD HEPATITIS DAY
Jul 28, 2017

[GS Paper II: (Issues relating to development and management of social sector/services, relating to health, education and human resources)]
  • World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July and brings the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. 
  • WHD unites patient organisations, governments, medical professionals, civil society, industry and the general public to boost the global profile of viral hepatitis.
  • WHD is one of just four disease-specific global awareness days officially endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO) viz. World TB Day - 24 March; World Malaria Day - 25 April; World AIDS Day - 1 December

What is hepatitis?

  • It is an inflammation of liver, commonly caused by a viral infection. 
  • There are five types of Hepatitis named A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis A and E are water borne and spreads through contaminated water or food, often produce more dramatic symptoms such as jaundice, but last for short durations.
  • Hepatitis B, C and D are blood borne. Hepatitis D causes infection only along with Hepatitis B.
  • Hepatitis B has a vaccine, but no cure, while Hepatitis C has no vaccine, but does have a cure.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is transmitted through exposure to infected blood, semen and other body fluids. It can spread through:

  • Infected mothers to infants at the time of birth, or from family member to infant in early childhood.
  • Transfusion of HBV-contaminated blood and blood products.
  • Injection drug use.
  • Contaminated injections during medical procedures.
  • Accidental needle injuries while caring for infected patients.

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is also transmitted through exposure to infected blood. It can spread through:

  • Transfusion of HCV-contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use,
  • Sexual transmission, but is less common.
  • There is no vaccine for HCV.

Challenge posed by Hepatitis

  • Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year – that’s as many as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis or malaria. Together, hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C cause 80% of liver cancer cases in the world.
  • Viral hepatitis is not found in one location nor amongst one set of people; it is a truly global epidemic that can affect millions of people without them even being aware. 
  • Currently, 90% of people living with hepatitis B and 80% living with hepatitis C are not aware of their status. This can result in the real possibility of developing fatal liver disease at some point in their lives and in some cases, unknowingly transmitting the infection to others.

Indian Context

  • In India, Hepatitis is a matter of concern because three to six billion injections are given each year, of which two-thirds are unsafely administered. This makes a large part of the population vulnerable to viruses transmitted through the blood.
  • About one million Indians are at risk of acquiring Hepatitis B infection and about 10,000 die from the virus every year. This number is huge especially considering the fact that it is a vaccine-preventable disease.
  • The concern is usually for Hepatitis B which can spread unknowingly from an infected mother to a newborn. Testing for Hepatitis B (HBsAg) is now mandatory during pregnancy. 

Way Forward

With the inclusion of viral hepatitis in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the recent adoption of the world’s first global hepatitis strategy, world is at a stage where strong commitment is needed from all countries to reduce the deaths from hepatitis infections.


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