World Hepatitis Day 2015
This year’s theme for World Hepatitis Day (28 July 2015) is “Prevent hepatitis. Act now.” The global focus this year will be on preventing hepatitis B and C, which are transmitted through blood and body fluids. This may include unsafe injections and unscreened blood transfusions. Most people living with chronic hepatitis B and C are unaware that they are infected. Moreover, nearly 40% of those infected with hepatitis B and 80% of those with hepatitis C require life-long medical treatment, making access to affordable prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis an absolute necessity. Globally, an estimated 1.5 million people die each year due to hepatitis, which includes deaths by liver cancer and cirrhosis. Nearly one third of these deaths occur in WHO’s South-East Asia Region. Through effective vaccination and treatment, as well as a better understanding of how we can prevent viral hepatitis, we can aim to eliminate these diseases and save lives.