Tracking elimination of hepatitis B among mothers, children

Wednesday, 29 Jul, 2020

"However, early detection and treatment can save the lives of patients".

The virtual seminar, titled 'Find the Missing Millions, ' was organised for World Hepatitis Day and aimed to provide awareness to health professionals and the community at large to fight against hepatitis.

In Nigeria, an estimated number of 190 million people, have Hepatitis B prevalence of 8.1% and Hepatitis C at 1.1%, based on a recent Nigeria HIV/AIDS indicator and impact survey (NAIIS) report.

'Most of the 17-21 million Nigerians estimated to be living with viral hepatitis do not know that they are infected, placing them at greater risk for severe, even fatal, complications from the disease and increasing the likelihood that they will spread the virus to others'. While the prevalence of viral hepatitis in Pakistan is staggering and of concern, there is hope for achieving this virus free future.

Under a worst-case scenario, the study projects that 5.3 million additional chronic infections could be seen in children born between 2020 and 2030, and one million additional hepatitis B-related deaths among those children later on.

Thus, when your liver is damaged, essential body functions are hindered.

According to a new modelling study conducted by Imperial College London in collaboration with World Health Organization, disruptions to the hepatitis B vaccination programme due to the pandemic could have a serious impact on efforts to reach the targets of the global strategy.

"Hepatitis-free future" - has a strong focus on preventing the disease which attacks the liver, one of the five main strains, among mothers and newborns. Covid-19 infection does cause liver inflammation, increases liver enzymes and can also cause liver dysfunction. Some of the most common symptoms of liver cancer are: weight loss (without trying), loss of appetite, feeling very full after a small meal, nausea or vomiting, belly pain or swelling, itching, yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice). The vaccine is also recommended for adults who are at high risk of contracting Hepatitis B, and it is an extremely effective way for prevention. Individuals who are suffering from chronic liver or kidney disease or AIDS must ensure that they take the vaccination as Hepatitis infection in them could easily turn serious.

Hepatitis D is quite rare and it spreads through direct contact with infected blood.

Other preventive measure include: avoid sharing of sharp objects like needles, toothbrushes, razors or nail scissors and screening of blood donation products.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are five types of hepatitis i.e.

July 28 marks the birthday of Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. Baruch Blumberg, who discovered the hepatitis B virus and developed a diagnostic test and vaccine against it. However, signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis appear quickly.

But according to recent ECDC findings, only a few countries across the EU/EEA have met the 2020 target of the European Action Plan to diagnose 50% of people with chronic hepatitis.