n South African Gastroenterology Review - World Hepatitis Day, 28 July 2014




In 2010, the WHO declared July 28 as World Hepatitis Day, making it of one of only 4 official disease-specific world health days. This was done because of the increasing recognition of the global burden of viral hepatitis, a group of infectious diseases causing acute and chronic liver disease and characterized as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Millions of people are infected and affected worldwide and almost 1.4 million people die every year. Deaths due to viral hepatitis now exceed those of HIV/AIDS but unfortunately viral hepatitis remains largely ignored by policy makers. South Africa was one of the sponsors of a comprehensive resolution on viral hepatitis at the recent World Health Assembly in Geneva. This is a positive step but more is needed.


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