World Hepatitis Day is celebrated every year on the 28 July and aims at raising awareness on the global burden of Hepatitis and influence real change. Thalassaemia patients, due to regular blood transfusions, are at increased risk of contracting Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HCV) stressing the importance and need for the availability of safe donor’s blood.
Today, there are many antiviral drugs and therapies available that can very effectively treat HBV and even cure HCV infection although they are not equally available nor easily accessible to all patients in the world. Vaccines are available to protect against Hepatitis B but not against Hepatitis C.
Ways of contracting Hepatitis:
Hepatitis A & E: contaminated food, water
Hepatitis B & C: Blood, sex, mother to child
Hepatitis D: co-infection with HBV or super-infection (superimposed on chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis B carrier state)
Prevention strategies: personal hygiene, avoid sharing toothbrushes and other personal objects