World Digestive Health Day is
observed annually on 29th May
- World Digestive Health Day is
observed annually on 29th May by the World Gastroenterology
- The main aim of the campaign is to
raise public awareness on digestive diseases or
- This year the theme is "Viral
Hepatitis, B and C: Lifting the Global Burden"
World Gastroenterology Organization
(WGO). The main aim of the awareness day is to focus on
a new digestive disorder every year, with the objective to raise public
awareness of its causes, prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment.
World Digestive Health Day's theme
this year is "Viral Hepatitis, B and C: Lifting the Global
The liver is a vital organ for metabolism and detoxification. Viral
hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver due to viral infections.
Aim of the Campaign
The primary objective of the campaign is to:
- Support and promote awareness of
Hepatitis, B, and C particularly its management, treatment and
preventive measures, in countries where the viruses are being newly or
- Educate physicians, pharmacists,
health professionals and the public about the prevalence, risk factors,
and causes of Viral Hepatitis, B, and C.
What is Hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammation or swelling of the liver.
are five types of hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D, and E
are of most
significant concern because of the burden of illness and death they cause and
the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread. Types A and E are responsible
for short-term or acute infection, whereas types B, C,
and D cause long-term or chronic infection. Hepatitis B, C, and D lead to
such as liver cirrhosis, liver failure, and
‘Viral hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver due to viral infections. Hepatitis B and C are transmitted through blood and blood products. Sharing improperly sterilized needles and personal care tools such as razors, toothbrushes and nail clippers can increase the risk.’
(HCV) are important public health concerns.
Transmission of the viruses occurs through blood and blood products,
contaminated injections or sex. They can also pass from the mother to her
Facts and Statistics on Hepatitis B and C
- Globally, over 257 million people
are chronically infected with hepatitis B
- Nearly 600,000 people die world
wide every year from hepatitis B
and its complications, such as liver cancer
- Hepatitis B related liver
complications caused each year around 5,000 to 6,000 American deaths
- About one in twenty Americans have
been infected with the hepatitis B virus
- According to Center for Disease
Control and Prevention (CDC), 1.25 million Americans have already been
infected with Hepatitis B virus, and more than 2 million Americans are
- Nearly 1.4 million people in the
U.S. are carriers of the Hepatitis B virus
- Hepatitis C prevalence in Northern
European countries, such as Great Britain, Germany, and France is low, but
the rates are higher in Southeast Asian countries, including India,
Malaysia, Philipines, and Japan
- Nearly 3.9 million people in the
U.S. are affected with Hepatitis C infection
- In the UK, around 215,000 people
have hepatitis C
Who are vulnerable to get Hepatitis B and C
- People between the ages of 20 and
49 are most prone to Hepatitis B infections.
- Hepatitis B may end up with a
chronic infection in five percent to ten percent of adults and children
older than five years.
- Hepatitis B affects nearly 25% to
50% in those younger than 5 and even higher (90%) for infants infected at
- Individual who has been diagnosed
with a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Hepatitis C virus is a blood-borne virus. It
is commonly transmitted through:
- Sharing of injections among drug
- Reusing or using unsterilized of medical equipment, especially syringes and
needles in healthcare settings
- Direct contact or exposure to
unscreened blood and blood products
- People with HIV
- People who have had tattoos or
What are the Symptoms of Hepatitis B and C?
and C can spread by:
- Jaundice a condition where the
skin or the whites of the eyes turn yellow as well as dark urine
- Light-colored stools
- Fatigue that continues for weeks
- Loss of appetite
- Stomach pain
Prevent Hepatitis B and C Infections
- Direct exposure to infected blood
or blood products
- Having unsafe sex
- Use of unsterile needles (IV drug
use, tattoo/piercing needles)
- Staying in a house with a person
who is already infected with the disease
- An infected mother can transmit
the virus to her newborn baby during pregnancy or
- Sharing razors, toothbrushes and
nail clippers with an infected person
hepatitis can be prevented or treated with proper medication, dietary changes
and lifestyle modifications.
- Do not share needles. Intravenous
drug users are at highest risk of becoming infected with hepatitis C
because of many share needles.
- If you are a medical worker or
health care provider, take precautionary measures to avoid direct contact
with blood or blood products. Any tool or equipment that draws blood
should be discarded safely or appropriately sterilized to prevent
hepatitis C infection.
- Do not share personal care items
which used on a daily basis such as toothbrushes, razors, nail and hair
clippers, and scissors.
- Be careful in choosing a tattoo
and piercing parlors. Only a licensed tattoo and a piercing artist will
follow proper sanitary procedures. A new disposable
needle and inkwell should be used for each customer.
- There is a higher risk of getting
hepatitis C if a person has sexually transmitted disease (HIV).
- Mark Your Calendars for World Digestive Health Day (WDHD) 2018 - (http://www.worldgastroenterology.org/about-wgo/media-center/media-releases/mark-your-calendards-for-world-digestive-health-day-2018)
- Hepatitis B Fast Facts - (http://www.hepb.org/assets/Uploads/Hepatitis-B-Fast-Facts.pdf)
- Hepatitis - (http://www.who.int/hepatitis/en/)
- Hepatitis C - Worldwide Prevalence - (http://www.epidemic.org/thefacts/theepidemic/worldPrevalence/)