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World Hepatitis Day 2K17: Play Safe

“Identifying interventions that have a high impact is a key step towards eliminating this devastating disease. Many countries have succeeded in scaling-up the hepatitis B vaccination. Now we need to push harder to increase access to diagnosis and treatment.” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

This week in SDG X is a novel writing initiative to keep the network and the blog’s loyal readers up-to-date with a brief collection of news directly related to the Global Goals.

Viral hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused due to a virus. It is now one of the major causes of death globally as it accounts for 1.34 million deaths per year. The health targets in the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals includes tackling Hepatitis and thus under the theme of “Eliminate Hepatitis”, the World Hepatitis Day is celebrated on the 28h July this year. The World Health Organisation is closely monitoring the status and while commitment is persuaded to turn into action, only 1 in 10 people with Hepatitis know that they have the disease and this continues to be alarming.

International response towards the elimination of hepatitis is gaining momentum as more than 86% of countries have set national hepatitis elimination targets and more than 70% has begun to develop plans for effective prevention and treatment. Universal access to hepatitis treatment is taken into consideration but the WHO feels that the progress needs to speed up.

Even though the virus spreads rapidly, there are a few ways in which you can help protect yourself from the diseases by simply staying clean and making sure everything you consume is washed and cleaned properly. By being informed about the various symptoms of the five kinds of Hepatitis. By taking precautions while travelling and practicing safe sex. And also by making sure that a vaccination for Hepatitis is taken in order to maintain the highest form of prevention than waiting for the cure after the damage is done.

WHO along with World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) and the Government of Brazil have also organised a World Hepatitis Summit 2017 on 1-3 November in Sao Paulo, Brazil which promised to be the largest global event to advance the viral hepatitis agenda. The theme of the Summit is “Implementing the Global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis: towards the elimination of hepatitis as a public health threat”. This will not only help bring forward solutions for prevention but also accelerate the global response.

It is important for the youth to both spread awareness and be informed of such issues of health to see a better future for everyone. So be smart and play safe!

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