‘Hepatitis Can’t Wait’ is the theme for this year’s World Hepatitis Day reinforcing that – people that are unaware of their viral hepatitis status can’t wait for testing, people living with viral hepatitis can’t wait for treatment and care, newborn babies can’t wait for birth dose hepatitis B vaccination, we all can’t wait to end stigma and discrimination, community organizations and decision makers can’t wait to work together to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat.

Liver illness caused by the hepatitis virus is a serious public health issue that affects millions of individuals throughout the world. Hepatitis A (HAV), hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), and hepatitis E (HEV) are all viruses that cause liver illnesses. All of these viruses cause considerable illnesses and deaths in both poor and industrialized countries. Hence, hepatitis in Nepal also is a significant problem.
In 2015, the WHO estimated 1.34 million deaths from viral hepatitis, with HBV and HCV being the leading causes. The clinical manifestations of viral hepatitis can range from asymptomatic to life-threatening.

Until recently, hepatitis A virus infection was more frequent in children in Nepal, but it is now emerging as a major cause of acute hepatitis in young adults. The general prevalence of HBV is 1.1 percent. However, several ethnic groups in the Himalayan area have high incidence rates.

Although the incidence of HBV in the general population is low, hepatitis in Nepal is one of the leading causal agents of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Similarly, the overall prevalence of HCV in the country is just 0.4 percent of the general population. But, it has been discovered to be as high as 19 percent in HIV-infected persons.