Each year on 28 July, the ‘World Hepatitis Day’ is celebrated to raise understanding of viral hepatitis, which is an infection of the liver that causes a numeral of health problems like liver cancer.It is estimated that ‘9 out of 10’ people with viral hepatitis are unaware of the disease.
The World Hepatitis Alliance’s Find the Missing Millions campaign aims to tackle the main barriers to diagnosis.No one should have to live with viral hepatitis without knowing. Yet, globally more than 290 million men, women and children do. Unless there is a massive scale-up in screening, diagnosis and linkage to care, more people will become infected and lives will continue to be lost.
The World Hepatitis Alliance’s (WHA) global campaign – Find the Missing Millions – is a three-year global awareness-raising and advocacy campaign aimed at tackling the main barriers to diagnosis by putting civil society organisations and the affected community at the heart of the solution.Barriers to diagnosis Recognising that there are many reasons why the global diagnosis rate is so low, the World Hepatitis Alliance commissioned a global survey in 2018 to understand the main barriers to hepatitis B and hepatitis C diagnosis globally.
Building upon this data, WHA’s Find the Missing Million’s campaign implements a global advocacy and awareness-raising campaign to tackle the main barriers to diagnosis as outlined below:-
Lack of public knowledge of the disease
– Lack of knowledge of the disease amongst healthcare professionals
– Lack of easily accessible testing
– Stigma and discrimination
– The out-of-pocket costs to the patients
Dr Harsh Shah
Liver, Pancreas & Cancer specialist Doctor in Ahmedabad, India