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GIVINGTUESDAY ALL YEAR! Help to Empower Women and Improve Health Around the World! – Hepatitis

GIVINGTUESDAY ALL YEAR! Help to Empower Women and Improve Health Around the World! – Hepatitis

MCN Foundation is committed to improving access to healthcare information and education, globally, through MCN Learning.  We will provide links to free courses and resources for healthcare providers as well as the general public every month on the anniversary of GivingTuesday.

“Hepatitis” means inflammation of the liver. The liver is a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters the blood, and fights infections. When the liver is inflamed or damaged, its function can be affected. Heavy alcohol use, toxins, some medications, and certain medical conditions can cause hepatitis. However, hepatitis is most often caused by a virus. The most common types of viral hepatitis are Hepatitis AHepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.

Many people with hepatitis do not have symptoms and do not know they are infected. If symptoms occur with an acute infection, they can appear anytime from 2 weeks to 6 months after exposure. Symptoms of chronic viral hepatitis can take decades to develop. Symptoms of hepatitis may include:  fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-colored stools, joint pain, and jaundice

Hepatitis B is primarily spread when blood, semen, or certain other body fluids from a person infected with the Hepatitis B virus – even in microscopic amounts – enters the body of someone who is not infected.

Hepatitis C is spread when blood from a person infected with the Hepatitis C virus – even in microscopic amounts – enters the body of someone who is not infected

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued its first-ever global guidance on testing for chronic viral hepatitis B and C on February 16, 2017. WHO estimates that more than 300 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B or C worldwide. However, less than 5% of these people have been tested or are aware of their diagnosis. Viral hepatitis causes an estimated 1.4 million deaths worldwide each year.

A cure for hepatitis C is now available globally. Novel medicines, such as direct acting antivirals (DAA), cure more than 9 out of 10 people in just 12–24 weeks. About 1 million people worldwide have been cured through the use of DAA medicines. Effective long-term antiviral treatment is also available for people with chronic hepatitis B. In many countries, however, challenges remain in accessing these medicines.

According WHO, new guidelines recommend the use of rapid diagnostic tests for hard-to-reach populations, and targeted testing in groups most affected by hepatitis B or C. This includes people who inject drugs, people with HIV, children of mothers with hepatitis B or C infection, and people with symptoms or blood test results suggestive of viral hepatitis. The guidelines also recommend testing all health workers and offering hepatitis B vaccination.

The World Health Organization:

Testing and diagnosis of hepatitis B (HBV) and C (HCV) infection is the gateway for access to both prevention and treatment services, and is a crucial component of an effective response to the hepatitis epidemic. Early identification of persons with chronic HBV or HCV infection enables them to receive the necessary care and treatment to prevent or delay progression of liver disease. Testing also provides an opportunity to link people to interventions to reduce transmission, through counselling on risk behaviours and provision of prevention commodities (such as sterile needles and syringes) and hepatitis B vaccination.

Resources for Healthcare Providers

CDC Training:  Viral Hepatitis

CDC Public Health Grand Rounds – The 25th Anniversary of the Discovery of the Hepatitis C Virus

Viral Hepatitis Serology Training

The University of Washington – Seattle Prevention Training Center – Hepatitis B Web Study

The University of Washington – Hepatitis C Online Course

The National Hepatitis Training Institute

Fundamentals of Liver Disease:  Free online CME Course Helps Physicians Identify and Care for Patients with Liver Disease

CDC Recommendations:  One-Time HCV Testing and Linkage to Care for Persons Born 1945-1965

Can’t Afford a Cure: How Cost Keeps HCV Care Out of Reach

CDC Expert Commentary:  Acute Hepatitis C Infection in Young Persons Who Use Drugs

CDC Expert Commentary:  Hepatitis B Vaccine for Adults with Diabetes

CDC Expert Commentary: Testing for Hepatitis C:  New Guidance

CDC Expert Commentary:  The HIV/HVC Outbreak in Indiana

CDC Expert Commentary:  Prevention of Perinatal Hepatitis B Transmission

Viral Hepatitis for Healthcare Professionals – Resource Center

World Health Organization, Guidelines for the Prevention, Care and Treatment of Persons with Chronic Hepatitis Be Infection

World Health Organization Hepatitis Publications

Resources for the General Public – Viral Hepatitis Fact Sheet

Viral Hepatitis – Patient Education Materials from the CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Viral Hepatitis

MCN Foundation is committed to improving women and children’s health; become a member of our team by making a donation today!  Your donation will provide much needed education to empower women to take care of themselves and others. MCN Learning will match all donations making your contribution go twice as far.

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