The liver team of specialist nurses raised awareness for World Hepatitis Day at Basildon Hospital on Tuesday 30 July.
An estimated 215,000 people in the UK are living with Hepatitis C (Hep C). This is a blood-borne virus that predominantly infects the cells of the liver. This can result in inflammation and significant damage to the liver.
The team delivered a presentation and set up a stand all day in our reception area. This helped to inform and educate staff and patients about Hep C and the screening and treatment options available.
The World Hepatitis Alliance have launched a campaign to ‘Find the Missing Millions’ that are unknowingly living with viral hepatitis. This is because individuals generally show no symptoms until they develop complications such as Liver Cirrhosis.
Liver Cirrhosis is the scarring of the liver caused by long-term liver damage; the scar tissue prevents the liver from working properly. This can eventually lead to liver failure, which can be fatal.
NHS Trusts and health organisations across England have taken action to raise awareness to ‘Find the Missing Millions’.
NHS England has set out plans to be the first in the world to eliminate the virus with a goal of 2025, at least five years earlier than the World Health Organisation (WHO) goal of 2030.
Both organisations are working with pharmaceutical industries to provide the best value for money for treatments for Hepatitis.
Sarah Fairclough, liver nurse specialist stated:
“Within an hour of our Hepatitis C presentation to staff in the morning, we received calls from the wards with staff enquiring about their patients.
“This shows that if we continue to spread awareness we can continue to ‘find the missing millions’ of people living with Hep C.”