X
GO
CARPHA calls on the Caribbean to Enhance Surveillance for Viral Hepatitis on  World Hepatitis Day 2021

CARPHA calls on the Caribbean to Enhance Surveillance for Viral Hepatitis on World Hepatitis Day 2021

CARPHA joins with the international community in observing World Hepatitis Day, commemorated annually on 28 July, and seeks to raise awareness and eradicate the stigma against viral hepatitis. This year’s theme Hepatitis Can’t Wait aims to convey the urgency of efforts to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

 

The World Health Organization notes that a person dies every 30 seconds from hepatitis related illness. The World Health Assembly endorsed a Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS) for viral hepatitis elimination as a major threat to public health by 2030. In the Region of the Americas for 2019-2020, there were 10,000 and 67,000 incident cases of Hepatitis B and C infections, respectively. 15,000 people died from hepatitis B and 31,000 persons died from hepatitis C infections. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted some routine national health services which has affected routine testing and treatment for hepatitis. 

 

There are five (5) strains of the hepatitis virus A, B, C, D and E. Hepatitis A is an infectious disease of the liver caused by Hepatovirus A (HAV), most likely transmitted from contaminated food or water or from close contact with an infected person.  Hepatitis B is predominantly transmitted through the exchange of body fluids during sexual intercourse or close contact with an infected person. Mother-to-infant transmission has also been implicated. The B and C viruses lead to an inflammation of the liver and can cause liver cancer. Hospital-acquired infection (HAI) through hemodialysis in kidney failure patients, blood transfusion and needlestick injuries have contributed to the transmission of the virus in healthcare settings. This latter fact emphasizes that newborn babies cannot wait for their hepatitis B vaccination at birth. Hepatitis C is normally transmitted through contaminated needles used in piercings and tattoos and contaminated dental equipment.

 

Dr. Joy St John, Executive Director, CARPHA lamented that vulnerable populations are often hard hit by viral hepatitis. “Hepatitis virus is a silent killer for many people who have been infected. They often do not experience symptoms until the infection causes serious illness. I want us to remember that people in prisons and persons abusing injectable drugs, are some of our Region’s identified vulnerable populations. They face multiple barriers, such as stigma. These barriers limit their access to testing, treatment, and care. The Caribbean needs to act now for those who often suffer in silence.”

 

The Integration of viral hepatitis elimination with other health services can’t wait. Dr. Lisa Indar, Director of CARPHA’s Surveillance Disease Prevention and Control (SDPC) emphasized, “Our Member States need to integrate Hepatitis surveillance in their national surveillance strategies. The Region has made notable successes in reducing transmission of viral hepatitis through the elimination of mother-to-child transmission (EMTCT) and protocols in the blood safety programs. Interventions for key populations have also been successful and contributed to decreasing incidence of the disease.”

 

CARPHA encourages Member States to implement the following measures to promote a hepatitis-free future

  • Enhance or develop national Hepatitis strategic plans.
  • Increase diagnostic capacity for hepatitis B and C viruses.
  • Address gaps in infection prevention and control capacity at hospitals and health care centers.
  • Address barriers to harm reduction and ensure these interventions are cross-cutting.

 

For more information visit  https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-hepatitis-day

 

###

Tags

Categories

News, New at CARPHA, Wellness

Share

Rating

0 ( 0 reviews)
  • Recent
  • Popular
  • Tag
  • CARPHA Encourages Persons to Know their Blood Pressure

    CARPHA Encourages Persons to Know their Blood Pressure

    0 Comments

    Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, May 16, 2014: The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is calling on persons to know their blood pressure, strive to keep it healthy or lower it. This is in keep...
  • CARPHA and CTO Launch Tourism and Health Programme

    0 Comments

    CARPHA and CTO successfully launched the regional tourism and health programme and conducted an awareness and discussion workshop on Friday May 2, 2014 in Aruba. The keynote address was given by the M...
  • CARPHA’s new Chairman of the Board

    CARPHA’s new Chairman of the Board

    0 Comments

    Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, October 02, 2013: The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) is pleased to announce the appointment of the Honourable Colin Riley, Minister of Health of Montserrat...
  • Saint Lucia Joins Regional Project to Build Public Health Capacity

    Saint Lucia Joins Regional Project to Build Public Health Capacity

    0 Comments

    Castries, Saint Lucia, September 04, 2014. The Ministry of Health, Wellness, Human Services and Gender Relations, in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), is launching the Ca...
  • New CARPHA lab to help region respond to health threats

    New CARPHA lab to help region respond to health threats

    1 Comments

    The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) moved today one step forward in its mission to provide strategic direction in analyzing, defining and responding to public health priorities of CARICOM, in ...
  • GRANT WRITING WORKSHOP

    0 Comments

    The Center for Global Health of the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.S., in collaboration with the Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA), St. George's Un...
  • CR-FELTP Trains New Mentors in Jamaica

    CR-FELTP Trains New Mentors in Jamaica

    0 Comments

    Caribbean Regional Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (CR-FELTP) Trains New Mentors in Jamaica The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) hosted a four-day workshop in Kingston, Jam...
  • Risk of Ebola in the Caribbean

    Risk of Ebola in the Caribbean "Low"

    0 Comments

    Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, August 06, 2014: The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) says the risk of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) being imported to the Caribbean is low. Executive Direct...
  • Risk Communication Training to Help Senior Health Officials Better Manage Health Threats

    0 Comments

    Risk Communication Training to Help Senior Health Officials Better Manage Health Threats Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, June 19, 2016: "Risk communication is an important tool in managing health th...
  • Influenza Activity in the Caribbean

    Influenza Activity in the Caribbean

    2 Comments

    Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, September 26, 2013. The Caribbean, like other regions in the Americas, experiences seasonal influenza activity. Improved health monitoring by Ministries of Health i...