This easily transmitted, often silent-but-deadly infection attacks the liver and is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that 25% of people with chronic hepatitis B will eventually die from liver cancer.
Mr. Barges Hamoud Al Barges, President of the Kuwait Red Crescent Society, said:
“Education is the first step towards prevention. This campaign is an opportunity to reach out to all Kuwaitis and help save lives. HBV is not an epidemic in Kuwait, but it is a highly infectious disease and so many people know little to nothing about it. More importantly, these people may be infected, and may unknowingly be infecting others.”
Infection with HBV is a serious global health issue with more than 2 billion people (1 out of every 3 people) infected with the virus worldwide. Despite the availability of a vaccine, 350 million people are chronically infected by the HBV virus, which can only be detected by a blood test.
The Middle East is defined as a moderate prevalence region where hepatitis B infection rates range from two to eight percent. In Kuwait, the rate is between two to five percent.
The campaign aims to educate the Kuwaiti population on the dangers of hepatitis B, means of transmission and most importantly prevention. It will also encourage people to get screened and vaccinated to protect themselves and everyone around them.
Hepatitis B Awareness efforts will take place in collaboration with high-profile Kuwaiti physicians and will involve direct communication efforts, radio PSAs, media outreach and press events.
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