What is Hepatitis?
Viral Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. Several different viruses, named Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses cause Viral Hepatitis.
All of these viruses cause acute or short-term Viral Hepatitis. The Hepatitis B, C, and D viruses can also cause chronic hepatitis, in which the infection is prolonged, sometimes lifelong. Chronic hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and liver cancer.
- Jaundice, which causes yellowing of the skin and eye
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea, Vomiting and Diarrhea
- Low grade fever and Headache
However, some people do not have any symptoms.
Points to Remember:
- Viral Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by the Hepatitis A, B, C, D, or E viruses.
- Depending on the type of virus, Viral Hepatitis is spread through contaminated food or water, contact with infected blood, sexual contact with an infected person, or from mother to child during childbirth.
- Vaccines offer protection from Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B.
- No vaccines are available for Hepatitis C, D, and E. Reducing exposure is the best protection.
- Hepatitis A and E usually resolve shortly. Hepatitis B, C, and D can be chronic and serious. There is treatment for chronic hepatitis.
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Our community context:
Egypt has the largest epidemic of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the world. The recently released Egyptian Demographic Health Survey [EDHS 2010] tested a representative sample of the entire country for HCV antibody. Over 11,000 individuals were tested. The overall prevalence (percentage of people) positive for antibody to HCV was 14.7%.
Hepatitis C virus in Egypt compared to other countries in the world is shown below in the graph.
The current population in Egypt is about 78 to 80 million. 14.7% of this population (0.147 X 78 million) is 11,466,000 persons who have been infected with this virus. This number is an underestimate because it does not include the number of people who have been infected that are under 15 years of age or over 60 years of age.
Transmission of HCV from person to person in Egypt is of course continuing with an estimate of 6/1000 new infections each year. In terms of absolute numbers of people in Egypt getting infected this over 500,000 individuals. 70,000 of them are children. This is a public health emergency.
By our national Hepatitis project we invest in the knowledge and attitude of potential agents “Young women” from slum areas in seven governorates. Those women surrounded with high risk practices; high fertility rate and underage marriage the things make them susceptible to HIV infection. So investing in such target is the right investment. Our project as a leading youth to youth interaction will mobilize them to work on Hepatitis response in their local areas with high numbers of potentially outreached young women. This project will also empower the current motivated NGOs in order to be able to establish a sustained coalition.