Nav: Home

WHO's Global Hepatitis Report sets baseline to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030

April 21, 2017

The World Hepatitis Alliance today welcomes the publication of the first-ever Global Hepatitis Report by the World Health Organization (WHO). The report comes as a follow-up to WHO's Global Strategy on Viral Hepatitis, which set a goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

The report contains new baseline data on the impacts of viral hepatitis (hepatitis B and C), regionally and globally, and aims to standardise understanding of the disease; an essential starting point to measure progress towards achieving the 2030 elimination goal.

Viral hepatitis is a major public health challenge, one that requires an urgent response. The Global Hepatitis Report shows definitively, for the first-time that:
  • Viral hepatitis causes 1.34 million deaths (a number comparable to annual deaths caused by tuberculosis, HIV and malaria)
  • 325 million people live with viral hepatitis (approximately 4.4% of the world's population)
  • Only 9% of persons living with hepatitis B and 20% of persons living with hepatitis C have been tested and are aware of their status
  • Unsafe healthcare procedures and injection drug use are the leading causes of new hepatitis C infections, accounting for the majority of the 1.75 million new infections

"For the first time in the history of viral hepatitis, we have an understanding of the true impact of the disease." said Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance. "WHO's Global Hepatitis Report provides us with new data and a set of very specific, global and regional targets to reach by 2030 - for instance global deaths from hepatitis must be brought down from 1.34 million to lower than 469,000 people per year."

The report shows that since 2000, deaths due to viral hepatitis increased by 22%, while deaths due to other diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, and HIV have been declining. If we are to reverse this trend, specific actions must be adopted at both a regional and national level.

One such action is the scaling up of birth dose vaccination against hepatitis B. Despite the success in rolling out childhood hepatitis B vaccination, where coverage has reached 84%, coverage with the initial birth dose vaccination is still unacceptably low at 39%. Another, highlighted in the report, is dramatically improving access to affordable treatment, which remains limited to only 1% of people living with viral hepatitis.

Raquel Peck, CEO of World Hepatitis Alliance said "Today, 325 million men, women and children are living with a cancer-causing illness despite the availability of preventative vaccines for hepatitis B and curative treatments for hepatitis C. We need to use this report to advocate for a public health approach, so that testing and treatment are rolled out at the scale necessary to ensure that every person has the opportunity to live a healthy life". She added, "We have the knowledge, what we need now is action."

On 1- 3 November, hundreds of policymakers, patients, civil society and public health experts will gather at the World Hepatitis Summit, in Sao Paulo, Brazil to discuss how to fast track the path to elimination.

The three-day event, which is a joint initiative between WHO and the World Hepatitis Alliance, will focus on key ways to implement WHO's Viral Hepatitis Strategy, with a specific focus on how to improve surveillance data, scale up testing and treatment at a national level, and support service delivery amongst vulnerable populations. The event will also encourage innovation in research and have a dedicated focus on sustainable financing for elimination, all of which are needed to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030.
-end-
The full WHO Global Hepatitis Report is available here.

World Hepatitis Alliance

Related Hepatitis Articles:

Nanotechnology delivers hepatitis B vaccine
X-ray imaging shows that nanostructured silica acts as a protective vehicle to deliver intact antigen to the intestine so that it can trigger an immune response.
Checkmate for hepatitis B viruses in the liver
Researchers at Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technical University of Munich, working in collaboration with researchers at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf and the University Hospital Heidelberg, have for the first time succeeded in conquering a chronic infection with the hepatitis B virus in a mouse model.
How common is Hepatitis C infection in each US state?
Hepatitis C virus infection is a major cause of illness and death in the United States and injection drug use is likely fueling many new cases.
New strains of hepatitis C found in Africa
The largest population study of hepatitis C in Africa has found three new strains of the virus circulating in the general population in sub-Saharan Africa.
High stability of the hepatitis B virus
At room temperature, hepatitis B viruses (HBV) remain contagious for several weeks and they are even able to withstand temperatures of four degrees centigrade over the span of nine months.
More Hepatitis News and Hepatitis Current Events

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Erasing The Stigma
Many of us either cope with mental illness or know someone who does. But we still have a hard time talking about it. This hour, TED speakers explore ways to push past — and even erase — the stigma. Guests include musician and comedian Jordan Raskopoulos, neuroscientist and psychiatrist Thomas Insel, psychiatrist Dixon Chibanda, anxiety and depression researcher Olivia Remes, and entrepreneur Sangu Delle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#537 Science Journalism, Hold the Hype
Everyone's seen a piece of science getting over-exaggerated in the media. Most people would be quick to blame journalists and big media for getting in wrong. In many cases, you'd be right. But there's other sources of hype in science journalism. and one of them can be found in the humble, and little-known press release. We're talking with Chris Chambers about doing science about science journalism, and where the hype creeps in. Related links: The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study Claims of causality in health news: a randomised trial This...