World Hepatitis Day is an opportunity to bring the world together under a single theme—to raise awareness for the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. In 2021 the theme is “Hepatitis Can’t Wait.”
With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis-related illness—even in the current COVID-19 crisis—we cannot wait to act on viral hepatitis. According to the WHO, here is a list of essential reasons why Hepatitis can’t wait:
- People who are unknowingly living with viral hepatitis can’t wait for testing.
- People living with hepatitis can’t wait for life saving treatments.
- Expectant mothers can’t wait for hepatitis screening and treatment.
- Newborn babies can’t wait for birth dose vaccination.
- People affected by hepatitis can’t wait to end stigma and discrimination.
- Community organizations can’t wait for greater investment.
- Decision makers can’t wait and must act now to make hepatitis elimination a reality through political will and funding.
And Sermo physicians agree. According to a recent poll of 200+ global Sermo physicians, 73% said the pandemic has interrupted the testing, diagnosing, and treatment of hepatitis. And 91% believe that despite the progress that has been made, policy makers still need to increase steps needed for preventing, diagnosing and treating hepatitis.
When asked which types of hepatitis, the physicians come across most frequently, the results were fairly even:
- 35% said hepatitis C
- 33% said hepatitis B
- 29% said hepatitis A
Regarding the stigma of hepatitis, 74% said the stigma makes it harder for people to live with the disease; while 39% said the stigma of hepatitis can make it harder as a doctor to test and diagnose the illness.
Here is more of what Sermo physicians have to say on this topic:
It is important to create public health policies in this regard and increase vaccination campaigns, not only HBV but HAV, which is more prevalent by the route of transmission– General Practice, Venezuela
Hepatitis C could be eradicated today!Gastroenterology, Germany
People needs to participate and discuss the diagnosis and management.Rheumatology, Brazil
Prevention and vaccines to reduce its lethalityGeneral Practice, Columbia
Hepatitis is a public health disease, which requires preventive management by governments.General Practice, Venezuela
The health system in my country is very precarious, opportunities for prevention, detection and treatment of hepatitis have been lost.Pediatrics, Venezuela