World Hepatitis Day is an annual moment to commemorate the concern of the world’s citizens regarding the concern for hepatitis disease. Hepatitis itself is a disease characterized by inflammation of the liver. This condition can occur due to viral infections, drinking alcohol habits, exposure to toxic substances or certain drugs. The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated July 28 as World Hepatitis Day to increase public awareness and understanding of hepatitis.

Therefore, PKRS RSND in its routine activity, namely the Healthy Life Talk Show on Thursday, July 28, 2022, raised the theme “Hepatitis Can’t Wait” with doctors who are experts in their fields, namely dr. Hesti Triwahyu Hutami, Sp.PD.

Based on the explanation from dr. Hesti, the theme for this World Hepatitis Day is “Hepatitis Can’t Wait” which means that the patients of hepatitis disease in Indonesia is quite high, especially hepatitis types B and C. Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver tissue that can be caused by alcohol consumption, based on an autoimmune process, and as well as viral or bacterial infections.

“Hepatitis B and C have a chronic course of disease that can cause liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Hepatitis is an old disease, but it still exists today because often sufferers do not experience symptoms and are known after the disease gets worse.” said dr. Hesti.

Transmission of hepatitis can be through vertical or horizontal manners. Vertical transmission can occur from mother to baby during delivery, so it is recommended to do early detection during pregnancy so that later babies born are not infected with hepatitis when the mother has hepatitis.

“The mode of transmission of hepatitis A and B is through the food and drinks consumed so that it depends on our sanitation, while other type of hepatitis can be transmitted through blood fluids. Hepatitis is not a genetic disease. If someone has hepatitis, it could be infected during the delivery process, not because of genetic factors.” explained dr. Hesti.

The characteristics of people suffering from acute hepatitis are flu-like symptoms, body pain, nausea, headache, white membranes of the eyes and yellow skin, and discomfort in the stomach. However, chronic hepatitis is often asymptomatic. The purpose of commemorating World Hepatitis Day is expected to reduce the number of hepatitis.

dr. Hesti also advised about prevention efforts, “If there are relatives who suffer from hepatitis B, we must first know the transmission. Hepatitis B is transmitted through body fluids, especially blood. Not because of the food or drink that is consumed together. So there is no need to separate food and eating utensils with hepatitis B sufferers. Liver cirrhosis can be caused by hepatitis B and C. However, there are also chronic liver diseases caused other than viral hepatitis but also due to alcohol consumption and fatty liver.”

“We ask the public to support the government and WHO in commemorating World Hepatitis Day. We have to be more aware of hepatitis by participating in screening and also taking treatment when suffering from hepatitis.” continued dr. Hesti.