28th July 2021 The world celebrates World Hepatitis Day under the theme “Hepatitis Can’t Wait”, Civil Society Organizations noted a significant progress Rwanda has made in implementing HCV control measures, including early screening of blood supply.
World Hepatitis Day is an occasion that reminds us to stay aware and informed about hepatitis. Every 30 seconds a person dies from hepatitis related illness, this can be avoided if we raise awareness about the disease through educating communities and those at risk about Hepatitis symptoms, prevention and early diagnosis.
Ahead of the celebration Rwanda NGOs Forum together with members organization conducted a social media campaign to raise awareness about Hepatitis diagnosis, treatment and all prevention programs available in Rwanda to help the communities make informed choices while fighting against this disease.
Due to COVID-19 different hepatitis treatment services have been disrupted to contain the spread of COVID; There is an urgency to act on viral hepatitis through investing in early diagnosis and testing and Involving civil society organizations as a key strategy towards the elimination of viral hepatitis to increase screening, early treatment services and raising awareness especially amid this pandemic.
Almost 90% of people living with viral hepatitis are unaware they have it while Hepatitis is a preventable and treatable disease.
Pregnant mothers who have hepatitis B can transmit the virus to their newborns at birth which put them at risk of serious liver disease or liver cancer later in life, Joint efforts to expand timely testing and treatment are needed to save lives.
Centering the voices of people living with hepatitis is critical in raising awareness and combating stigma and discrimination through awareness raising about prevention of hepatitis to avoid misinformation, stigma and discrimination and scale up to diagnostic and treatment.
Increase mobile clinics for underserved and vulnerable populations in rural settings reduce patient costs and improve health outcomes hence reduce hepatitis incidence and mortality, We call on stakeholders joint efforts and commitment to expand timely testing and treatment to save lives and achieve a hepatitis free future.
As the world grapples with the new pandemic, Hepatitis treatment should be available, affordable and accessible to the community; we must protect the gains made in hepatitis elimination.
A world without Hepatitis starts with us