On “World Hepatitis Day”, Syria continues to provide free diagnosis and treatment to patients

Damascus, SANA- With a person dying every 30 seconds from a hepatitis related illness, even in the current COVID-19 crisis, we can’t wait to act on viral hepatitis, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday when observing each year on 28 July the “World Hepatitis Day” to raise awareness of viral hepatitis.

In Syria, the cumulative number of hepatitis B infections has reached 6200, and hepatitis C cases reached 6000 cases, Director of Communicable and Chronic Diseases at the Health Ministry, Dr. Jamal Khamis said, asserting that the Ministry continues to provide free diagnostic and treatment services through specialized centers in Damascus, Lattakia, Hama, Homs and Aleppo.

Dr. Khamis added that the Ministry provides vaccine of hepatitis B, in addition to providing awareness brochures and posters and training and rehabilitating of the medical cadres.

WHO joins the global community in celebrating World Hepatitis Day with the theme “Hepatitis can’t wait”, calling on all countries to work together to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. A hepatitis-free future is achievable with a united effort.

Over 354 million people worldwide live with chronic hepatitis; over 8000 new infections of hepatitis B and C occur every day, and more than one million deaths from advanced liver disease and liver cancer occur every year.

WHO recently launched first-ever global guidance for countries seeking to validate elimination of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection as a public health problem. WHO also, released first guidelines on hepatitis C virus self-testing, which strongly recommend offering self-testing for hepatitis C virus (HCV) as an additional approach to HCV testing services.

WHO reminded that hepatitis A is caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV). Transmission occurs by the fecal-oral route, either by direct contact with an HAV-infected person or by ingestion of HAV-contaminated food or water, while the most common route of transmission of hepatitis B is mother-to-child during birth.

Hala Zain

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