World Hepatitis Day 2019: Find the Missing Millions

Find the Missing Millions is quite an engaging call for action on this year’s World Hepatitis Day (28th July). Hepatitis is categorized into Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses, and is defined as an inflammation of the liver by the World Health Organization (WHO). More than 325 million people across the globe are infected with viral hepatitis and 22% of this population live in Africa. Furthermore, in Nigeria 1 in 25 people and 1 in 50 people are infected with hepatitis B and C, respectively (Musa et al., 2015).

The management of viral hepatitis infection has been predominantly low globally, as over 290 million people are unaware they are living with the infection (WHO, 2017). Worldwide, only 42% of people infected with hepatitis are benefiting from vaccine administration, and even less are receiving treatment (16.7%). It is therefore crucial to join in this year’s movement to find the missing millions. Together, we can work towards reducing the burden of this asymptomatic disease by 2030.

Factoring that a great number of people are unaware of the possibility of hepatitis infection, how would you suggest this public health issue be tackled? How can you encourage individuals, schools and organisations around you to take part in hepatitis screening? What are the likely ways to promote an increased uptake of vaccines?

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Everything boils down to awareness, so many persons haven’t heard of hepatitis and don’t even know that it is more deadly than HIV. If good sensitization is done just the way it was done for HIV, then individuals will go voluntarily for testing and management

You are right! It is very common to see people in our communities that are unaware of what hepatitis is and the harm it poses to their lives.

It is quite alarming when you meet people who do not realize hepatitis is more deadly than HIV. Just like you said, targeted awareness programs need to be put in place.