This year, World Hepatitis Day – 28 July 2020, finds liver patients amid COVID-19 health and economic crisis, combined with pro – existing issues that need to be addressed. Liver Patients International (LPI), stresses the importance of governments to remain on viral hepatitis elimination until 2030 track and of the public to join the awareness raising efforts.
Viral hepatitis disproportionally affects people living in vulnerability. Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV) are the most common cause of deaths, with 1.4 million lives lost each year. On World Hepatitis Day we would like to underline the following facts (source WHO):
- 325 million people live with chronic HBV and HCV worldwide
- Only 10% of people who live with HBV and 19% with HCV are aware of their diagnosis
- Hepatitis C is curable
- Only 12 out of 194 countries are on track to meet HCV elimination goal
- There is a safe vaccine for hepatitis A and B
- Vaccine for hepatitis B, shields you against hepatitis D
- Access to sanitation facilities may prevent hepatitis A
- People who inject drugs (PWID) are disproportionately affected by HCV. Globally, 23% of new HCV infections and one in three HCV deaths are attributable to injecting drug use
- HCV is also a major concern for people detained in prisons and other closed settings (one in four detainees are HCV positive)
- In highly endemic areas, HBV is most commonly spread from mother to child at birth, or through exposure to infected blood
- Viral hepatitis causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer
Liver Patients International with purpose to strengthen the community’s voice, supports the following initiatives and encourages individuals across the world to spread the knowledge:
Find the missing millions campaign
World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) calls on people from across the world to take action and raise awareness to “find the missing millions”. Get involved by joining the campaign, signing up to the mailing list and using the hashtag #WorldHepatitisDay.
NOhep global movement
NOHep global movement – driven by WHA – to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030, invites people to sign and share an open letter aiming to hold our governments to account and urge them to keep their promise to eliminate viral hepatitis.
Sign the open letter: https://www.nohep.org/2020whdletter/
World Hepatitis Day Webinars
WHA will implement a series of free-to-join webinars, exploring key issues in global hepatitis elimination. LPI’s Board Member Rachel Halford of Hepatitis C Trust, will participate as panelist, in the webinar titled: “The impact that COVID-19 is having on harm reduction services and the communities that need them”.
Find out more – register: https://www.worldhepatitisalliance.org/WHD2020webinars
Hepatitis free future
World Health Organization (WHO) published a campaign with theme “Hepatitis free future” with a strong focus on preventing hepatitis B among mothers and newborns. On 28 July, WHO will publish new recommendations on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of the virus.
Viral Hepatitis elimination: Call to action
Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), four hepatology societies – American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), Asian-Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) and Latin American Association for the Study of the Liver (ALEH) – have committed to a global call-to-action initiative to simplify hepatitis C testing and treatment, to get on track to eliminate HCV by 2030