The World Health Assembly has adopted a global health sector strategies on viral hepatitis for the period 2016-2021. The integrated strategies highlight the critical role of Universal Health Coverage.  The strategies outline actions to be taken by participating countries and by the World Health Organization.

The hepatitis strategy – the first of its kind – introduces the first-ever global targets for viral hepatitis, which include a 30% reduction in new cases of hepatitis B and C by 2020 and a 10% reduction in mortality. 

Key approaches to reducing hepatitis will be to expand vaccination programs for hepatitis A,B, and E; focus on preventing mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B; improve injection, blood and surgical safety; “harm reduction” for people who inject drugs; and increase access to treatment for hepatitis B and C.

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The World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) and its 230 member states will continue to work to ensure that countries honor their commitment and that they implement measures to reach the targets. World Hepatitis Day is scheduled for July 28, 2016. 

The 69th World Health Assembly closed last week after approving new resolutions on WHO’s Framework for Engagement with Non-State Actors; the Sustainable Development Goals; the International Health Regulations; tobacco control; road traffic deaths and injuries; nutrition; HIV, hepatitis and sexually transmitted infections; mycetoma; research and development; access to medicines and integrated health services.