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World Hepatitis Day 2023: Save Lives!

On World Hepatitis Day 2023, the World Health Organization (WHO) plans to host a global webinar in collaboration with partners worldwide to raise awareness about the viral hepatitis epidemic. Every year, on July 28, the special occasion of World Liver or Hepatitis Day is observed across the globe to increase awareness about the common health risk of hepatitis. Therefore, accurate knowledge about the disease and taking appropriate action is crucial at this time. World Hepatitis Day 2023: Save Lives!.

The theme for World Hepatitis Day 2023 is “One life, one liver,” which aims to highlight the liver’s importance in the strategy to eliminate viral hepatitis. This day serves as a call to accelerate the efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis and underscores the urgent need for testing and treatment for those who require it. The campaigns and activities conducted on World Hepatitis Day 2023 aim to educate individuals about the disease and its associated aspects. World Hepatitis Day 2023: Save Lives!.

World Hepatitis Day 2023: Promoting Liver Health and Awareness

WHO’s objective is to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. Hepatitis, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), refers to inflammation of the liver. The hepatitis virus has five commonly known strains: Type A, B, C, D, and E. Although they all affect the liver, there are key differences in their origin, transmission, and disease severity. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) is also promoting the “One life, one liver” message. World Hepatitis Day 2023: Save Lives!.

World Hepatitis Day 2023: Save Lives!

When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected. While hepatitis is preventable through immunization and manageable, there is currently no cure. Viral hepatitis causes more than 1 million deaths annually, including deaths resulting from liver cancer caused by hepatitis infection. Dr. N. Ravisankar Reddy, Senior Consultant Medical Gastroenterologist at Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad, exclusively shared insights with Jagran English on how to prevent hepatitis and safeguard one’s liver for a healthy and long life.

World Hepatitis Day 2023: Uniting to Combat Viral Hepatitis

Though all types of hepatitis can lead to liver disease, the symptoms, transmission methods, and overall impact may vary. In 2019, infection with the hepatitis B virus resulted in an estimated 820,000 deaths worldwide. Dr. Reddy explained that “viral Hepatitis is caused by five different viruses, namely Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Common manifestations include fatigue, stomach pain, fever, and in severe cases, liver failure and brain damage.

More than 8000 new infections with hepatitis B and C viruses occur each day, which is equivalent to over 5 new infections every minute. Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted from mother to child during birth, through sexual contact, unsafe injection practices, or blood transfusions. However, some individuals with hepatitis may not display any symptoms, emphasizing the significance of awareness and early detection.

World Hepatitis Day 2023: Taking Action Against a Global Health Challenge

If the current trajectory continues, experts estimate that by 2040, viral hepatitis will cause more deaths annually than malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV/AIDS combined. Hepatitis A can last from a few weeks to several months, while Hepatitis B can range from a mild, short-term illness to a serious, life-long (chronic) condition. On World Hepatitis Day, numerous health campaigns and events are organized to raise awareness about hepatitis and its prevention.

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