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World Hepatitis Day

25 Jun 2018

The 28th July 2018 is World Hepatitis Day. This annual event is organised by the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to raise awareness of the global burden of hepatitis. Every country in the world has committed to eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030. The key theme this year is:

Find the Missing Millions

Viral Hepatitis results in 1.34 million deaths annually and is the cause of two thirds of all liver cancer deaths. Hepatitis C virus infection is curable and Hepatitis B virus infection can be controlled with medication. Approximately 325 million people worldwide are estimated to be living with viral hepatitis but of these, 300 million people are unaware of their infection and not receiving care. Unless these people are detected and treated they face the risk of liver disease, liver cancer and passing the infection on to others.

The WHA are embarking on a 3 year programme to ‘find the missing millions’ of undiagnosed people with viral hepatitis. The aim of this programme is to have diagnosed 30% of people by 2020 and 95% by 2030. Initially this will be achieved by raising awareness globally, influencing national testing policies, encouraging people to be tested and improving linkage to care.

Key messages in ‘Find the missing millions’

  • Viral hepatitis is a major global health problem and needs an urgent response.
  • 300 million people living with viral hepatitis don’t know it.
  • Without finding the millions of people unaware they are living with viral hepatitis and linking them to care, the elimination of viral hepatitis won’t be achieved.
  • In South East Asia 97% of men and women living with viral hepatitis don’t know it
  • 42 million children don’t know they are living with viral hepatitis.
  • Those aged 45 – 60 are most likely to be unknowingly living with hepatitis C compared to other age groups.
  • Those aged 30 – 39 are more likely to be unknowingly living with hepatitis B compared to any other age group.

Find out more about hepatitis, World Hepatitis Day, the ‘Find the missing millions’ campaign and World Hepatitis Alliance using the following links: