Fact File on Hepatitis Awareness Month That You Need to Know

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May 7,2019
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Fact File on Hepatitis Awareness Month That You Need to Know

The month of May presumes special importance in the public health calendar, courtesy the Hepatitis Awareness Month. Observed every year, the Hepatitis Awareness Month is a global outreach campaign that aims to enhance awareness regarding the disease and disseminate knowledge resources to empower people to resist the disease through preventive and curative measures.

Origins of the Hepatitis Awareness Month and Its Importance

The Hepatitis Awareness Month owes it origins to the Center of Disease Control and Prevention in the United States in the year 2001. According to current data, hepatitis directly affects the health of 5 million people in the United States. The World Health Organization in its report titled “Regional Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Hepatitis” asserts that there are approximately 100 million carriers of Hepatitis B in the South-East Asia, accounting for 5.6% of the total population in the region and 300,000 deaths each year. The document also mentions 30 million carriers of Hepatitis C in the South-East Asia, amounting to 1.6% of the population living in these countries. Given the global dimensions of the challenge, it makes enormous good sense to understand the medical definition of hepatitis and the causes, symptoms and treatment of its diverse variants.

What Hepatitis is and What Are Its Variants?

WHO asserts that the inflammation of liver is usually referred as hepatitis. The disease has diverse variants which are as follows:

Hepatitis A: Transmission, Symptoms and Treatment

Hepatitis A is a liver disease that is caused by hepatitis A virus (HAV). It is a communicable disease that spreads from one person to another through a number of ways as follows:

  • Consumption of raw or partially or wholly uncooked food that has come into contact with a person suffering from Hepatitis A
  • Consumption of drinking water contaminated with excreta
  • Physical contact and mating with a person infected with HAV
  • Use of contaminated water for administering intravenous drugs

Symptoms of Hepatitis A are as follows:

  • Unusual fatigue and exhaustion
  • Sudden nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain especially in the upper right side beneath the ribs (liver area)
  • Clay colored stool
  • Appetite loss
  • Pain in the joints
  • Darkening of urine

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention asserts that hepatitis A can be easily prevented throug effective and safe vaccination.

Hepatitis B: Transmission, Symptoms and Treatment

Hepatitis B is a communicable liver disease caused by the Hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis B may spread from one person to another through a number of ways as follows:

  • Infection inherited by the baby at birth from a mother affected by Hepatitis B
  • Physical contact and mating with an infected individual
  • Use of common needles, syringes and durg preparation equipment
  • Direct contact with the blood of an infected person
  • Use of shared items such as razors, toothbrushes or medical equipment

Symptoms of Hepatitis B are as follows:

  • Pain in the abdominal area
  • Darkening of urine
  • Fever
  • Pain in the joints
  • Fatigue and exhaustion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Yellowing of the skin and eyes

Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccine. It is advised that a child be administered the vaccine for Hepatitis B at birth to prevent the onset of the disease. Similarly adults living in areas that are at risk of the outbreak of Hepatitis B are also advised to get vaccinated.

Hepatitis C: Transmission, Symptoms and Treatment

Hepatitis C is a communicable liver disease that is caused by the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV). The disease can manifest in both acute and chronic infections and is communicable. Some of the common modes of the transmission of the disease are as follows:

  • Transmission through infected blood
  • Use of shared needles, syringes and equipment for drug preparation
  • Improper sterilization of medical equipment
  • Infection inherited by the baby at birth from a mother affected by Hepatitis B
  • Physical contact and mating with an infected individual

Symptoms of Hepatitis C are as follows:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Abdominal pain
  • Darkening of urine
  • Pain in joints

While there is no vaccine available for Hepatitis C, the disease can be easily cured in a duration of 8- 12 weeks and thereby reduce the risk of liver cancer by 75%.

Hepatitis D & E: Transmission, Symptoms and Treatment

Hepatitis D is a liver disease caused by a virus that depends on the existence of the Hepatitis B Virus to exist and is found in human blood. Treatment of Hepatitis D calls for the vaccination for Hepatitis B.

Hepatitis E on the other hand is a communicable liver disease caused by the Hepatitis E Virus (HEV). Modes of transmission of Hepatitis E include contact with excreta and consumption of contaminated water. Symptoms of Hepatitis E include yellowing of the skin and eyes, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and fever. The disease is self-limiting and usually does not require hospitalization except for cases of fulminant hepatitis and pregnant women infected with the virus.

Incidences of Hepatitis and the Need for Liver Transplant in India

The World Health Organization also reports the number of people in India suffering from Hepatitis B to be 40 million and those suffering from Hepatitis C to be in the range of 6 to 12 million. Further, WHO suggests HEV (Hepatitis E Virus) to be the most common cause of epidemic hepatitis while claiming HAV (Hepatitis A Virus) to be the major common cause among children in India. While vaccines for Hepatitis are preventive measures, patients diagnosed with hepatitis and thus reporting significant liver damage are in need of liver transplant procedures.

What is TPAF and How it helps in Liver Care?

TPAF is an NGO helping liver transplant patients and their families in India. Established in the year 2017 with an objective to support liver transplant in India. TPAF is contributing towards the cause of liver transplant in India in the following ways:

Financial Aid for Patients Who Are in Need of Liver Transplant
TPAF supports patients in need of liver transplant by raising funds through collaborations with fund raising platforms, networking with donors and also directly sponsoring surgeries.

Partnering with Healthcare Institutions to Rationalize Surgery Costs
The NGO partners with healthcare institutions like hospitals and liver transplant centers in India to reduce the costs of liver transplant surgeries and thus make treatment affordable for people who need it.

Till date, TPAF has supported nearly 100 cases of children’s’ liver transplant, partnered with 1000 plus donors and on-boarded 11 partners and raised funds worth INR 100 crore. Families of children in need of liver transplant in India can access financial assistance and institutional support for their cases by directly getting in touch with TPAF online and onsite.


Patients in need of support for their liver transplant surgery procedure can reach out to TPAF on the web at www.tpaf.in, subscribe to the TPAF newsletter or write to info@tpaf.in.

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