Global Data Shows that Mortality from Viral Hepatitis B and C in Africa is Becoming a Major Threat- World Health Organization

Global Data Shows that Mortality from Viral Hepatitis B and C in Africa is Becoming a Major Threat- World Health Organization.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2019.

Accessible at: Global Viral Hepatitis: Millions of People are Affected | CDC

In Africa, efforts to prevent and control viral hepatitis have improved (World Health Organization, 2017). However,despite this improvement, attention is needed to eradicate hepatitis B and C. This is because 95% of hepatitis morbidity and mortality remain attributable to hepatitis B and C (WHO, n.d.).

Daily, over 300 people are at risk of contracting viral hepatitis B and C globally, and over 3,000 deaths are attributable to viral hepatitis-related liver diseases (World Health Organization, 2022).

Globally in 2019, there were:

  1. 296 million people living with hepatitis B
  2. 58 million people living with hepatitis C
  3. 1.5 million new cases of chronic hepatitis B (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, 2021).

Currently, at least 91 million cases of Hepatitis B or C are Africans (World Health Organization, 2022). Despite the availability of diagnostic tools and effective treatment, over 90% of people living with hepatitis B and C in Africa don’t have access to the care they need (World Health Organization, 2022).

Quoting the words of Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, The WHO African Regional Director: ‘‘Hepatitis has been called the silent epidemic, but this scorecard is sounding an alarm for the region and the world to hear.’’

In 2016, WHO’s World Health Assembly (WHA) set global targets of achieving a 90% reduction in hepatitis B and C incidence by 2030.

How can we help eradicate hepatitis B and C in Africa?

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In my opinion, creating more awareness about Hepatitis will go a long way. This is because I feel there’s still a huge information gap outside there. So, more work needs to be done in creating more awareness and publicly offering a vaccine just the way polio vaccine was administered in the past.

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