World Hepatitis Day is July 28
Officials with the World Health Organization are urging countries to take rapid action to improve knowledge about the disease, and to increase access to testing and treatment services.
Hepatitis B and C transmission
Hepatitis B and C infections are transmitted through contaminated blood as well as through contaminated needles and syringes in healthcare setting and among people who inject drugs. The viruses can also be transmitted through unsafe sex.
A global problem
Around the world, 400 million people are infected with hepatitis B and C, more than 10 times the number of people living with HIV.
Getting health services to those in need
In Egypt – a country with one of the world’s highest prevalence rates of hepatitis C – 200 000 people were treated during the past 12 months, and the price of treatment dropped from US$ 900 in 2014 to less than US $200 in 2016.
Increasing efforts against hepatitis C.
Other countries have stepped up efforts against hepatitis C. Brazil and Pakistan are already expanding treatment coverage rapidly, and Georgia has announced a plan to eliminate the disease.
Stepped up vaccination efforts
As of 2014, 184 countries vaccinate infants against hepatitis B as part of their vaccination schedules and 82% of children in these states received the hepatitis B vaccine, up from 31 countries in 1992
Safer sex practices
Safer sex practices, including minimizing the number of partners and using barrier protective measures (condoms), also protect against transmission.
WHO Officials Encourage Awareness
On World Hepatitis Day 2016, WHO, the World Hepatitis Alliance, and the Government of Brazil announced the organization of the Second World Hepatitis Summit to take place in Sao Paulo, Brazil in March 2017.
In May 2016, at the World Health Assembly officials announced the Global Health Sector Strategy
A goal of the strategy to reduce new viral hepatitis infections by 90% and to reduce the number of deaths due to viral hepatitis by 65% by 2030 from 2016 figures.