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(P.J.S)

World Hepatitis Day 2021 – Hepatitis can’t wait

1,100,000

deaths per year caused by Hepatitis B and C infections

9,400,000

people are receiving treatment for chronic hepatitis C virus infection

10

% of people who have chronic infection with hepatitis B virus are diagnosed, and 22% of which receive treatment

42

% of children, globally, have access to the birth dose of the hepatitis B vaccine

World Hepatitis Day is observed each year on 28 July to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer. This year’s theme is “Hepatitis Can’t Wait”. With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness – even in the current COVID-19 crisis – we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis. There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus – A, B, C, D and E. Together, hepatitis B and C are the most common which result in 1.1 million deaths and 3 million new infections per year.

Messages for the public:

  • People living with hepatitis can’t wait for life saving treatments.
  • Hepatitis B testing and treatment for pregnant women can’t wait. We can prevent transmission from mothers to their babies.
  • Newborn babies can’t wait for their hepatitis B vaccination at birth.
  • People affected by hepatitis can’t wait to be protected against stigma and discrimination.
  • Community organizations can’t wait for greater investment.
  • Decision makers can’t wait and must act now to make hepatitis elimination a reality through political will and funding.