The United Nations marked the fourth World Hepatitis Day (WHD) on July 28 to create awareness about the disease and urge people to adpot preventive measures against the spread of the disease.
According to World Health Organization (WHO), hepatitis is one of the most prevalent and serious infectious conditions in the world, but many people - including health policy makers - remain unaware of its staggering toll on global health. Furthermore, hepatitis kills 1.4 million people worldwide while 240 million people are infected with hepatitis B virus and 150 million people with hepatitis C virus each year.
The World Hepatitis Alliance first launched WHD in 2008. Following on, the UN declared official recognition of this event in 2010. This year WHO and partners have urged policy-makers, health workers and the public to "think again" about this silent killer.
There is a need to keep general cleanliness, reproductive health and clinical hygiene to mitigate the disease. "Hepatitis A and E are typically caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water. Hepatitis B, C and D usually occur as a result of contact with infected body fluids. Common modes of transmission for these viruses include receipt of contaminated blood or blood products, invasive medical procedures using contaminated equipment and for hepatitis B transmission from mother to baby at birth, from family member to child, and also by sexual contact," informs WHO.
According to Anzhelika Devis of United Nations, World Hepatitis Day-2014 will serve as a wake-up call for countries to double their efforts in eradicating the disease.