World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Reducing the Burden of Hepatitis In Western Pacific Region

Reducing the Burden of Hepatitis In the Western Pacific Region

MANILA, 28 July 2013 – In celebration of World Hepatitis Day, the World Health Organization in the Western Pacific Region urges governments to intensify comprehensive control efforts against hepatitis to achieve the goal of less than 1% of hepatitis B infections in children by 2017. 

“The fight against hepatitis is a public health priority,” says Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. "Governments and health authorities must scale up successful interventions, develop new approaches and mobilize all resources necessary to adequately address the burden and challenges caused by hepatitis."

The theme of World Hepatitis Day 2013 is: “This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it.” Throughout the Region, events will be held to raise awareness of the threat of hepatitis B to public health and to share information about this silent killer.

Viral hepatitis is a group of infectious diseases causing inflammation of the liver. There are five main types of hepatitis virus—A, B, C, D and E—which affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Some of these hepatitis viruses, most notably types B and C, can also lead to chronic and debilitating illnesses. An estimated 500 million people have hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus. Approximately 1.4 million people die each year (approximately 2.7% of all deaths) from causes related to viral hepatitis, most commonly cirrhosis and liver cancer. An estimated 57% of cases of liver cirrhosis and 78% of cases of primary liver cancer result from hepatitis B or C virus infection.

The Western Pacific Region has the highest rates of chronic hepatitis B infections in the world, causing an estimated 890 deaths every day. With the exception of Australia, Japan and New Zealand, where chronic hepatitis B infection rate varies from 2% to 4%, countries in this Region have rates of 5% or more. Hepatitis B virus is one of the most potent causes of liver cancer; 25% of persons with chronic hepatitis B infection will die prematurely from liver cancer or cirrhosis. 

In the Western Pacific, most chronic hepatitis B infections are acquired during birth or early childhood. This can be prevented by vaccination at birth followed by at least two more doses. The Region achieved an 85% increase in vaccination at birth and a 90% increase in three-dose coverage from 1990–2011. It is estimated that timely vaccination at birth should reach 90% and three-dose coverage should reach 95% for a country to reduce chronic hepatitis B infection rates in children to less than 1%.

At least 30 of the 37 countries and areas in the Western Pacific Region are estimated to have reduced chronic hepatitis B infection rates in children to less than 2%, which was a regional milestone set for 2012. Countries and areas that have been verified to have reached that milestone are Australia, China, Hong Kong (China), Macao (China), Malaysia, Mongolia, New Zealand, the Republic of Korea and Tonga. The Region is now striving to reduce infection rates to less than 1%. When achieved, an additional 240 000 chronic infections and 60 000 hepatitis B-related deaths will be prevented.

Viral hepatitis places a heavy burden on individuals and the health-care system because of the high costs of treating liver failure and chronic liver disease. In many countries, viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver transplants. Such end-stage treatments are expensive. Moreover, chronic viral hepatitis results in loss of productivity.

Recognizing the tremendous burden caused by viral hepatitis, the World Health Assembly, WHO’s governing body, adopted a resolution in 2010 that called for a comprehensive approach to prevent and control viral hepatitis.

Following the resolution, WHO established the Global Hepatitis Programme with the following goals:

·         to reduce the transmission of agents that cause viral hepatitis;

·         to reduce deaths due to viral hepatitis by improving care of patients with viral hepatitis; and

·         to reduce the socioeconomic impact of viral hepatitis at individual, community and population levels.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news