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Rwanda NGOs Forum on HIV/AIDS and Health Promotion  has joined the rest of the world in celebrating  the World Hepatitis Day 2022 under the  Global and Rwanda themes “Bringing hepatitis care closer to communities” and “Rwanda cares : The Last Mile toward Hepatitis Elimination” at Kigali Marriott Hotel, on 28th July 2022.

World Hepatitis Day is observed each year on 28 July to raise awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes severe liver disease and hepatocellular cancer.

Ahead of the Celebration, RNGOF on HIV/AIDS & HP hosted a pre campaign on social media and community radios to educate the general population and those at high risks about the importance of hepatitis testing, prevention, vaccination, early treatment and care & call for collective efforts to fight against hepatitis as Rwanda is on the last mile towards hepatitis elimination.

During his remarks, Dr. Daniel Ngamije, the Minister of Health, acknowledged stakeholders contribution to the achievement of Rwanda’s last mile towards Hepatitis Elimination. “The journey is long, targets are ambitious but with collective efforts we can achieve hepatitis elimination, we are on track,” he said.

Hepatitis a silent killer responsible for the deaths of about 125000 people in Africa every year, despite the availability of treatment. In Rwanda for more than 2 decades a lot has been done to bring affordable hepatitis care and treatment closer to the communities, so far 7 million people have been screened for Hepatitis and thousands have been treated for Hepatitis c; bringing hepatitis care closer to communities and those in need is critical to achieving a hepatitis-free future. To date, progress made in development of new Hepatitis C therapeutics assures that it can easily be diagnosed and treated using simplified methods.

This year’s theme, “Bringing hepatitis care closer to you”, aims to raise awareness about the need to simplify and bring hepatitis care to primary health facilities, community-based venues and locations beyond hospital sites, so that care is closer to communities and people wherever they are.

There are five main types of the hepatitis virus – A, B, C, D and E.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Hepatitis B and C lead to chronic disease in hundreds of millions of people globally, and together are the most common cause of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and viral hepatitis-related deaths.