WHO: Hepatitis Will Kill 4.5 million people by 2030

Health | July 26, 2019, Friday // 15:18|  views


A new study by WHO, published today in Lancet Global Health, has found that investing US$6bn per year in eliminating hepatitis in 67 low- and middle-income countries would avert 4.5 million premature deaths by 2030, and more than 26 million deaths beyond that target date.

A total of US$58.7 billion is needed to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat in these 67 countries by 2030. This means reducing new hepatitis infections by 90% and deaths by 65%.

“Today 80% of people living with hepatitis can’t get the services they need to prevent, test for and treat the disease,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “On World Hepatitis Day, we’re calling for bold political leadership, with investments to match. We call on all countries to integrate services for hepatitis into benefit packages as part of their journey towards universal health coverage.”

Over 257 million people worldwide are infected with hepatitis B, and another 71 million live with chronic hepatitis C infection, while 4.5 million people will die from the disease without the necessary treatment by 2030," said the study head Hepatitis B and C in the World Health Organization (WHO).

"We do not believe that there will be a drop in the number of people we have suffered, and we expect that (in 2019.) There will be about 250-257 million people with hepatitis B. For hepatitis C, we see a slight decrease, but it is still 71 million people, "he said.

According to the WHO, hepatitis is a "silent killer," as only every tenth person in every 257 million people living with hepatitis is officially diagnosed, and of the 71 million people with chronic hepatitis C infection, only one fifth is officially diagnosed. 

Only 2 million people receive a treatment for this type of disease per year.

Unless $ 6 billion a year is invested in the fight against the disease, by the year 2030, 4.5 million people may die of different types of hepatitis.

According to WHO estimates, Pakistan is currently at the forefront of hepatitis where more than 10 million people are infected. Second is China, followed by Egypt. Fourth is the United States and the Russian Federation, with about 3 million people infected in each country.

For the vast majority of the 325 million people living with hepatitis B and/or C, accessing testing and treatment remains beyond reach.

Of the estimated 257 million living with hepatitis B infection:

  • 10.5% (27 million) knew their infection status in 2016.
  • Of those people diagnosed, only 17% (4.5 million) received treatment in 2016.
  • In 2016, 1.1 million people newly developed chronic hepatitis B infection—a primary cause of liver cancer.

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Tags: hepatitis, World Health Organization, prevention


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