28 July: World Hepatitis Day
The World Hepatitis Day was observed globally on 28 July 2017 with the theme "Eliminate Hepatitis" to mobilize intensified action towards the health targets in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
This year's theme is aimed at achieving elimination of hepatitis, greater awareness, increased diagnosis including universal vaccination, blood and injection safety, harm reduction and treatment.
The Day aims to bring the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change.
WHO Data on 28 countries with the heaviest burden of Hepatitis
• 11 countries carry almost 50 per cent of the global burden of chronic hepatitis- Brazil, China, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda, Vietnam.
• 17 countries have high prevalence and account for 70 per cent of the global burden of Hepatitis - Cambodia, Cameroon, Colombia, Ethiopia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Thailand, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe.
• More than 86 per cent of countries reviewed have set national hepatitis elimination targets and more than 70 per cent have begun to develop national hepatitis plans.
• In 2015, there were around 325 million people living with chronic hepatitis, with 257 million people living with hepatitis B (HBV) infection and 71 million people with hepatitis C (HCV).
• The most effective current hepatitis B treatment 'Tenofovir' is available for as low as USD 48 per year in many low and middle income countries.
• While, Hepatitis C can be completely cured with direct acting antivirals (DAAs) within 3 months. However, as of 2015, only 7 per cent of the 71 million people with chronic hepatitis C had access to treatment.
• By the end of 2015, only 9 per cent of HBV-infected people and 20 per cent of HCV-infected people had been tested and diagnosed.
• Viral hepatitis caused 1.34 million deaths in 2015 in comparison to TB deaths and exceeding deaths from HIV.
• However, Hepatitis B vaccine is preventing approximately 4.5 million infections per year in children.
• The global targets for 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are to ensure that 90 per cent of people with HBV and HCV infections are tested and 80 per cent are reached with treatment.
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