On Celebrating The World Hepatitis Day -By Mustapha Saddiq

Filed under: Global Issues |
Mustapha Saddiq

Mustapha Saddiq


World Hepatitis Day is one of the official global
public health campaigns marked by the World Health
Organization (WHO), World Tuberculosis Day,
World Malaria Day and World AIDS Day among others.
It is observed annually since the year 2010 on 28th July which coincidentally happens to be the birthday of the Nobel Laureate Baruch Samuel Blumberg, discoverer of the hepatitis B virus to raise global awareness and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment of the dreaded disease that kills more people worldwide than AIDS each year.

The theme of this year’s world Hepatitis Day is ‘Prevent hepatitis. Act now’. Hepatitis –which is cause by a virus are group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E that affects morethan 400 millions people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.5 million people every year, mostly from hepatitis B and C. That is almost 4000 people daily!

While many people worry more about contracting AIDS
than hepatitis, the reality is that people die from either hepatitis B or C faster than they would from HIV/AIDS.

Hepatitis affects primarily the liver leading to its scarring and ultimately causing cirrhosis -a sort of liver cancer. Hepatitis can transmitted through exposure to infectious blood or body fluids such as sweat and saliva and also unprotected sexual intercourse. Hepatitis B infection has been preventable by vaccination since 1982 and about 180 countries including Nigeria is giving the vaccine unlike the Hepatitis C which has no known vaccine.

Hepatitis infection can be prevented by vaccination (in the case of the B type), strictly adhering to all the best safe hospital procedures such as during injections and blood transfusion among others. Those with the infection are also advise to stay off of alcohol and drugs toxic to the liver. Also if the infection is detected early, there are ways proved to manage the disease and or ultimately cure it ranging from drugs to surgical procedures.

So, what next? Go to your nearby laboratory and know your status. Prevent yourself. Stay safe.

Mustapha Saddiq
Intern, Federal Medical Centre, Katsina.
Wrote from Katsina.