Today is World Hepatitis Day. The 2021 Hepatitis Can’t Wait global campaign focuses on the need to accelerate hepatitis elimination efforts, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Chronic hepatitis B and C are the most common blood borne viruses in Australia. They are life-threatening infectious diseases that cause serious liver damage, cancer, and premature death, yet testing for them is not part of routine blood tests—you generally need to ask your doctor.
In Australia, during the virus outbreak, there was a 9% reduction in Australians receiving hepatitis B monitoring and 15% decline in new diagnoses. Globally, a person dies every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness and 90% of people living with hepatitis B and 80% living with hepatitis C are unaware they have the disease and, in some cases, unknowingly transmit the infection to others.
There are effective vaccines and treatments available for hepatitis B and a cure for hepatitis C. The elimination of viral hepatitis is achievable. We just need greater awareness and understanding of the disease, remove any systemic and discriminatory barriers and provide access to cheaper diagnostics and treatment. With further investment into hepatitis B diagnosis, treatment, care, and mortality reduction, it is expected that by 2030, Australia could prevent 1,700 deaths from occurring.
For more information visit https://www.hepatitisaustralia.com/
WorldHepatitisDay #GPAustralia #Communityhealth