Worldwide, 290 million people are living with viral hepatitis unaware. Without finding the undiagnosed and linking them to care, millions will continue to suffer, and lives will be lost. The World Hepatitis Day organisation is urging people around the world to use World Hepatitis Day on 28 July to take action and raise awareness to find the “missing millions”.
The liver is an important organ in our body that removes unwanted poisons from the blood, stores vitamins and produces hormones. However, Hepatitis disrupts these processes resulting in life threatening chronic diseases including liver cirrhosis and cancer.
Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest death rate from liver cirrhosis in the world, says the Lancet.com. Adding that people with chronic liver disease are among those vulnerable in the case where they contract COVID-19 as their immune systems are already weak.
Hepatitis is a liver disease that causes inflammation of the liver cells and damage to the liver. Although there are at least five Hepatitis viruses, namely Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E, the three most common are hepatitis A, B, and C.
Causes of Hepatitis
- Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by drinking and or eating contaminated food or water.
- On the other hand, one gets Hepatitis B by having unprotected sex, sharing needles, having a tattoo with unsterilized needles, sharing personal items, such as a toothbrush or razor and breastfeeding, if the mother has the virus
- Hepatitis C is also passed on through the sharing of needles or other drug-related equipment.
- Symptoms of Hepatitis
Mild Symptoms – There are different types and causes of hepatitis, but the symptoms can be similar. Many people with hepatitis experience either mild or no symptoms. Where there are symptoms they appear two to six months after infection.
Acute Symptoms – May include flu symptoms as well as other symptoms such as jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, extreme fatigue, nausea, vomiting and stomach pain.
- SAMWUMED Benefits for Hepatitis
SAMWUMED members and dependents are covered for Hepatitis as part of Chronic Diseases Benefits. Click here for more information
- 28 July is World Hepatitis Day.
Click here https://www.worldhepatitisday.org/