Viral hepatitis is one of the most neglected global health crises of our time. Globally, it is the leading cause of liver cancer, and it claims over a million lives every year. However, we do have a vaccine and effective treatments against hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C. These tools combined with prevention and testing strategies mean we have the opportunity to eliminate viral hepatitis as a global public health threat, which will save millions of lives.
For too long hepatitis elimination efforts have been under funded, not prioritized, and poorly resourced. The COVID-19 pandemic has set the world back even further from achieving the elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030, which was a target set by the World Health Organization in 2016.
A pressing need
With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness, we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis — even while we are in the current COVID-19 crisis. The 290 million people who are unaware that they are living with viral hepatitis can’t wait for testing. People living with hepatitis can’t wait for life-saving treatments. Expectant mothers can’t wait for hepatitis screening and treatment. New-born babies can’t wait for the hepatitis B birth-dose vaccination. And people affected by hepatitis can’t wait to end the associated stigma and discrimination.
TO CONTINUE READING:https://www.futureofpersonalhealth.com/infectious-diseases/why-viral-hepatitis-elimination-efforts-need-immediate-support/?fbclid=IwAR0KmLmcCpIQ
Cary James, CEO, World Hepatitis Alliance, email@example.com
June 15, 2021