World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day (WHA) is sponsored yearly by the World Hepatitis Alliance on July 28 to raise awareness about viral Hepatitis. July 28 th is the birthday of Dr Baruch Blimmerberg (1925-2011), who in 1967 discovered the hepatitis B viruses and developed the first hepatitis B vaccination. The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially declared it a global public health day.

Hepatitis B/C affects approximately 325 million people. Each year, more than a 1.1million lives are lost to the disease. This campaign aims to raise awareness about one of the most serious and neglected diseases. A call to action is also included to encourage decision-makers and other stakeholders to prioritize the elimination of viral Hepatitis by 2030.

The campaign theme for this year is “I can’t wait”. This emphasizes the urgency of eradicating viral Hepatitis. It also highlights the importance of testing for and treating those afflicted. Early diagnosis and treatment can often prevent or reduce the risk of serious complications.

What is Hepatitis? And what are the different types?

Hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis virus. Viral Hepatitis can be either acute (short-term) or chronic (long-term). Hepatitis can be caused by various viruses, including hepatitis B, C, D and E. However, some symptoms may look the same, but they vary in how they are transmitted.

Hepatitis A & E

Hep E is usually spread by contact with contaminated food and water that has been contaminated from an infected person’s stool. Hep E can also be caused by eating uncooked meat, deer, and shellfish. These viruses are usually short-term infections that the body can fight off. The virus disappears, but it may return.

Hepatitis B and C, as well as D

Contact with infected blood can spread the disease. Contact with blood from an infected person can also cause Hep B or D to spread. This could be due to sharing drug needles, unprotected sex, and other bodily fluids. These viruses can lead to liver disease, liver failure, and cirrhosis.

It is possible to get viral Hepatitis with no symptoms. However, the most common symptoms are yellowing of the skin, eyes or stool, fatigue, joint pains, nausea/vomiting and yellowing of the skin.

According to the WHA, there are many reasons to take action.

These include:

  • People with viral Hepatitis are often unaware of their condition and cannot wait to be tested.
  • Patients with this virus cannot wait to receive life-saving treatment
  • Hepatitis treatment and screening for pregnant mothers are essential.
  • Newborn babies cannot wait to receive their first dose of vaccination
  • Hepatitis patients can’t wait for discrimination and stigma to be lifted from their communities
  • Greater investment is essential for community organizations.
  • Hepatitis elimination cannot wait. Decision-makers must act immediately to ensure that it is a reality.

Nutrition for Chronic Hepatitis

A hepatitis diet aims to minimize liver stress and reduce its severity. A healthy diet is important for everyone, but it should be a top priority for those with chronic Hepatitis. A healthy diet can help you manage your hepatitis symptoms and preserve your liver function. Eating enough calories each day, regardless of age, gender, or activity level, is essential to maintain energy. It is important to consider many basic principles of nutrition and healthy eating habits. This includes a strong focus on food such as:

Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins and minerals that support a healthy body. Green leafy vegetables may reduce the number of fatty acids in the liver. Fruits and vegetables also contain fibre, which can help you feel fuller and decrease your desire to eat unhealthy foods.


This includes food such as bread, rice and pasta. Instead of focusing on refined grains like white bread, white rice, and white pasta, focus on whole grains, such as whole grain bread, brown rice, and whole-grain pasta. People with liver disease need to discuss their carbohydrate requirements with their doctor. Too many carbohydrates can cause blood sugar dysregulation.

Protein Rich Foods

A good amount of protein can prevent chronic Hepatitis from leading to malnutrition, muscle wasting, and tissue repair. Avoid too much protein. This is because the liver can’t filter out toxins from foods broken down from the bloodstream. Researchers recommend that you consume 1.0 to 1.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of your body weight. This range is suitable for both those with and without malnourishment. You can find lean protein sources such as chicken breast, turkey, fish and nonfat yogurt.

Healthy Fats

Red meats and full-fat dairy products should be replaced with “good fats”, which include polyunsaturated or monounsaturated oils found in olive oil and walnuts. Moderation is key with all fats. Healthy fats can provide sufficient calories and essential fatty acids. They also support the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.

To support liver health, you should also reduce or eliminate excess sodium, added sugars, excess Iron, and alcohol.

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