90% of people living with viral hepatitis don’t even realise they have it. World Hepatitis Day is here to help tackle the barriers that prevent global diagnosis and treatment - and you can choose to be part of the answer.
Egypt may once have been the land of the pyramids, pharaohs and Cleopatra, but these days it bears the unfortunate accolade of having the highest rate of Hepatitis C in the world. With 13% of the population bearing the disease, it has become a huge concern for the country’s health and development.
The Egyptian government has done their best to combat the disease but sadly their efforts have been limited in effectiveness - especially for those living in remote areas. That’s where the Association of Liver Patient Care (ALPC) has stepped up to the mark. This Egyptian NGO has risen to the challenge and developed an innovative programme to eliminate hepatitis C among those Egyptians who are the hardest to reach. Not just ‘out in the sticks’ but all the way out in the desert. After beginning free screening and treatment in a single village in 2015, the programme has spread to 36 other villages, resulting in 85,000 people screened and 8,324 treated.
Initiatives like these are the key to fighting hepatitis around the world. On the 28th of July, the World Hepatitis Alliance is launching the Find the Missing Millions campaign, aimed at tackling the barriers that stop people being diagnosed and treated globally. They’re doing this by putting civil society groups like the ALPC in Egypt and others around the world at the centre of the fight for awareness.
Who exactly are these ‘missing millions’?
Globally there are 300 million people living with hepatitis unknowingly. That's more than four times the entire population of the UK. Without diagnosis and treatment hepatitis leads to liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer - in fact 2 out of 3 liver cancer deaths are caused by hepatitis.
Every year 1.34 million people die as a result of hepatitis. Yet so many of these deaths can be avoided. With a cure already available for hepatitis C and treatments and vaccines for A and B, there’s no reason why we can’t start winning the fight against this disease. It's why the World Hepatitis Alliance is pushing for a massive scaling up in screening, diagnosis and treatment right around the world.
But they can’t do it alone.
Could you help? You bet.
If you want to get involved, there’s lots you can do. Every new person who learns about hepatitis brings us another step closer to beating the disease, so something small like putting up a poster actually makes a big difference. Spread the word on social media or even set a trend with a World Hepatitis Day T-shirt. You can find posters, graphics for social media and templates that can be printed onto merchandise like t-shirts and mugs right here.
If you’re part of an organisation, you can sign your team up to join the quest. By adding your organisation to the list, you’ll receive regular updates and news about the campaign. Or how about becoming a life saver? Organise your own screening and diagnosis event and you really could. If your screening event leads to people being diagnosed, there’s a good chance you could help them avoid complications further down the line. There’s guidance on how to do this in the campaign toolkit.
Travel insurance for Hepatitis C
Sometimes finding a travel insurer that covers your condition isn’t easy. They may dramatically inflate your premium - or even refuse to cover you altogether. Here at World First we believe that if you feel well enough to travel, there’s a good chance you are well enough to get travel insurance. Our unique medical screening allows you to tell us more about how your condition is managed, meaning we can almost always offer far cheaper policies than other travel insurers - without compromising on the level of cover you receive.
Sounds good? You can get an instant quote at World-First.co.uk.