WHO in the Western Pacific: Working towards a hepatitis-free Region

An article from WHO Media Centre
July 25, 2014
Viral hepatitis causes an estimated 1.4 million deaths worldwide each year—which is close to the number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS, and more than those caused by malaria and tuberculosis. Despite the high burden on individuals, families and societies, political and financial engagement remains inadequate. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than 500 million people worldwide are affected by chronic hepatitis B and C.
 
The WHO Western Pacific Region bears a disproportionately high burden of hepatitis B virus (HBV). The Region is home to about one quarter of the world population, but accounts for about half of chronic hepatitis B infections. The burden of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is also high in the Region.
 
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