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World Hepatitis Day: scope and objectives, types, symptoms and prevention

July 28 is observed as World Hepatitis Day (WHD) across the globe in order to raise awareness about the disease and with an aim to eradicate it completely from planet earth by 2030.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver tissue, which is caused by a viral infection. Hepatitis affects millions of people across the world, causing both acute and chronic liver disease.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), India carries around 50% of the global burden of chronic hepatitis.As the name suggests, the motive of the campaign will be to achieve global elimination of the disease by 2030. The idea is to spread awareness about the fact that "hepatitis is preventable and treatable. Hepatitis C is, in fact, curable. However, over 80 percent of people living with Hepatitis still lack prevention, testing, and treatment services," according to WHO.

Hepatitis A

The disease is caused by a contagious virus and it is commonly transmitted by consuming food or water contaminated by feces from an infected person. The best way to keep yourself safe from Hepatitis A is by remaining careful about the food you consume.

Symptoms: Inflamed liver, no appetite, jaundice, nausea, vomiting and fever.

Hepatitis B

This is a more chronic disease than Hepatitis A and it is usually transmitted through blood, saliva, unprotected sex and from the mother to the foetus.

Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is mainly spread through blood-to-blood contact but in some cases this disease is also transmitted during childbirth. According to experts, Hepatitis C can also lead to scarring of the liver.

Symptoms: Poor appetite, jaundice, nausea, disturbed sleep and depression.

Hepatitis D

Hepatitis D is quite rare and it spreads through direct contact with infected blood. This is also a chronic disease.

Symptoms: Fatigue, vomiting, slow fever, dark urine and light stool.

Hepatitis E

It is an acute disease and Hepatitis can be dangerous in pregnant women. Hepatitis is mainly transmitted through drinking water contaminated with faecal matter.

Symptoms: Jaundice, appetite and weight loss, nausea, enlarged and tender liver.

World Hepatitis Day provides an opportunity to focus on actions such as

  • Raising awareness of the different forms of hepatitis and how they are transmitted;

  • Strengthening prevention, screening and control of viral hepatitis and its related diseases;

  • Increasing hepatitis B vaccine coverage and integration into national immunization programmes; and

  • Coordinating a global response to hepatitis.

Some of the objectives of World Hepatitis Day

1. Involve as many people as possible to focus together on this issue 2. Raising awareness about various types of Hepatitis and their mode of transmission 3. Educate people about prevention, diagnosis, and control of Hepatitis 4. Spread awareness about Hepatitis A and B vaccines 5. Notify the public about comprehensive care and treatment options available for the different forms of hepatitis 6. Dismissing social stigma associated with this disease 7. Increase number of skilled medical professionals in order to enhance quality care

Liver-friendly food which must be added to your diet:

Blueberries and cranberries: Rich in antioxidants named anthocyanins, both blueberries and cranberries are a storehouse of health benefits that can increase your immune cell response and antioxidant enzymes, thereby, keeping your liver healthy, according to the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

Grape: A study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology showed that grapes help lower inflammation, prevent damage and increase antioxidant levels in the liver. Grapes are also beneficial because of the presence of a plant compound like resveratrol.

Beetroot juice: Beetroot juice contains nitrates and antioxidants called betalains which help in reducing inflammation in the liver. According to research published in the journal Nutrient, these compounds enrich natural detoxification enzymes.

Fatty fish: Fishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids – salmon, mackerel, sardines – help reducing inflammation. According to a study published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology, omega-3 fatty acids help prevent the accumulation of fat in the liver, keep enzyme levels normal, fight inflammation and improve insulin resistance.


Source: Zee news



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