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When Will the World Take Hepatitis Seriously?

worldEarlier this month, the headlines regarding viral hepatitis were shocking, at least to the media. Those of us who have been paying attention to the devastating effects of hepatitis B and C were not shocked. Although I was glad to see the media pay attention to the hepatitis crisis in the world, I’ve become jaded. It takes more than headlines to change the world.

Today is World Hepatitis Day. Launched in 2008 by the World Hepatitis Alliance, this annual event provides international focus for advocates and people living with hepatitis B and C. World Hepatitis Day is an opportunity for interested groups and individuals to raise awareness and influence real change in disease prevention and access to testing and treatment.

In case you need convincing about the need to help raise awareness about issues surrounding viral hepatitis, here are some facts:

  • Viral hepatitis is the 7th leading cause of death in the world. Hepatitis C is ahead of hepatitis B in the amount of destruction it does. Viral hepatitis kills as many people annually as TB, malaria or HIV/AIDS. Yet, The funding targeted at viral hepatitis is disproportionately low compared to to its magnitude as a major cause of death and disability.

The World Health Assembly set objectives to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. In accordance with this, the theme for this year’s World Hepatitis Day focuses on eliminating hepatitis. NOhep is a global movement that provides “a platform for people to speak out, be engaged and take action to ensure global commitments are met and viral hepatitis is eliminated by 2030.”

You can help the NOhep campaign reach 300 million by 2030. Click here to learn more.

 

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