WHO call to eliminate viral hepatitis on World Hepatitis Day

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The World Health Organization (WHO) is using World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, as wake-up call to end viral hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis is a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. Many people may not know they are infected or at risk of infection.

The condition affects millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver disease and killing close to 1.4 million people every year, which is almost as many as die from HIV.

Hepatitis B is the leading killer causing 55 percent of deaths globally followed by hepatitis C which causes 35 percent.

Two thirds of the deaths from hepatitis take place in Asia.

Many people who are affected by HIV are also very vulnerable to viral hepatitis.

Hepatitis C disproportionately affects people who take drugs. According to Yury Fedotov, the Chief of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, around 50 percent of the 12.7 million people estimated to have injected drugs globally have the disease.

Meanwhile, recent advances in medication for hepatitis B and C, means that an eradication of the disease is within reach.

WHO hopes that World Hepatitis Day will serve as a wake-up call for countries to double their efforts in eradicating the disease.

Anzhelika Devis, United Nations.

Duration: 1’32″

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