World Hepatitis Day : Theme 2022
World Hepatitis Day is observed each year on 28th July to enhance awareness of viral hepatitis.
- The theme for the year 2022 is “Bringing hepatitis care closer to you”.
- It aims to highlight the need to bring hepatitis care closer to primary health care facilities, and so communities, to ensure better access to treatment and care.
- The word hepatitis refers to any inflammation of the liver — the irritation or swelling of the liver cells from any cause.
- It can be acute (inflammation of the liver that presents with sickness — jaundice, fever, vomiting) or chronic (inflammation of the liver that lasts more than six months, but essentially showing no symptoms).
- Usually caused by a group of viruses known as the “hepatotropic” (liver directed) viruses, including A, B, C, D and E.
- Other viruses may also cause it, such as the varicella virus that causes chicken pox.
- SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing Covid-19 may injure the liver too.
- Other causes include drugs and alcohol abuse, fat buildup in the liver (fatty liver hepatitis) or an autoimmune process in which a person’s body makes antibodies that attack the liver (autoimmune hepatitis).
- Hepatitis is the only communicable disease where mortality is showing an increasing trend.
- Hepatitis A and E are self-limiting diseases (i.e. go away on their own) and require no specific antiviral medications.
- For Hepatitis B and C, effective medications are available.
- Approximately 354 million people are suffering from hepatitis B and C.
- Southeast Asia has 20% of the global morbidity burden of hepatitis.
- About 95% of all hepatitis-related deaths are due to cirrhosis and liver cancers caused by the hepatitis B and C virus.
- Viral hepatitis, caused by hepatitis viruses A through E, still remains a major public health problem in India
- India has “intermediate to high endemicity” for Hepatitis B surface antigen and an estimated 40 million chronic HBV infected people, constituting approximately 11% of the estimated global burden.
- Population prevalence of chronic HBV infection in India is around 3-4 %