According to the World Health Organisation, Africa has one of the highest hepatitis infection rates in the world. Sadly, many people are unaware they have it.
Hepatitis affects 60 million people in Africa. Worldwide, an estimated 325 million people are living with chronic hepatitis-B virus (HBV) or hepatitis-C virus (HCV) infections.
What makes this particularly concerning is that many are unaware that they have hepatitis and are at risk of a slow progression to chronic liver disease, cancer and even death.
What is hepatitis?
Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease of the liver. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or cancer.
The most common cause of hepatitis is due to infection by one of the hepatitis viruses but it can be caused by other infections, medication, alcohol, toxic substances and certain autoimmune diseases.
What are the different hepatitis viruses?