World Hepatitis Day Message

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By Dr. Karen Cummings, MP

(Shadow Minister of Health)

Today Wednesday July 28, 2021, the APNU/AFC Coalition joins with the world in celebrating World Hepatitis Day which is being celebrated under the theme “Can’t Wait”.

According to World Health Organization, viral hepatitis is responsible for approximately 1.1 million deaths and 3 million new infections annually. Viral hepatitis can cause severe liver disease and cancer. Of the five different types of hepatitis, A, B, C, D, and E, 325 million people are living with viral hepatitis B, which is commonly transmitted from mother to child during delivery and in early childhood, while hepatitis C is spread by the exposure to blood through unsafe health are procedures and injection drug use.

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Although much progress has been made over the years through the prevention and treatment of hepatitis and by vaccinating our infants, it has been reported that 10 % of persons in the world are diagnosed with hepatitis B, 22 % are receiving treatment, and only 42 % of children globally have access to the birth dose of hepatitis B vaccine. There should be more access to testing and treating of hepatitis especially among the vulnerable and at-risk groups including drug users, prisoners, migrants, and other affected populations. More screening of our pregnant mothers, and the expanding of infant vaccination should be done if hepatitis is to be eliminated by 2030.

The APNU/AFC Coalition encourages policy makers, health care workers, civil society, and the community on this World Hepatitis Day, to strive to maintain such essential services through this COVID-19 pandemic to contain this public health threat. Let us spread the word, as those millions of lives are still at risk; we must combine our efforts and voices to raise awareness that ending hepatitis is achievable collectively at the global and local level – as hepatitis can’t wait.

I thank you.



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