Millions of people globally who have viral hepatitis are unaware or unable to receive treatment, the United Nations health agency said Friday, on the eve of World Hepatitis Day, raising the alarm to “find, test and treat the missing millions.”
With some 400 million people around the world infected with hepatitis B and C, the United Nations health agency today encouraged countries to boost testing and access to services and medicines for people in need.
Delegates from more than 60 countries are gathered in Glasgow for the first-ever World Hepatitis Summit that began today aiming to provide “a wake-up call to build momentum to prevent, diagnose, treat – and eventually eliminate – viral hepatitis as a public health problem,” the World Health Organization (WHO) has said.
With 650,000 deaths caused by hepatitis B each year, and with up to 240 million people worldwide infected with the virus’s chronic strain, the United Nations health agency today issued its first ever official guidance for treating the disease.
Marking World Hepatitis Day, the head of the United Nations drugs and crime agency today called for stronger prevention efforts to stop the spread of this major global health risk and urged authorities to ensure that all victims, including injecting drug users and prisoners, get the care and treatment they need.
The United Nations health agency is launching a new information campaign to highlight the impact of the hepatitis B virus, which is currently found in about 2 billion people worldwide despite being largely preventable by vaccine for more than 25 years.