To mark World Hepatitis Day (July 28), the World Health Organization (WHO) called for scaling up testing and treatment for viral hepatitis, warning that the disease could kill more people than malaria, tuberculosis, and HIV combined by 2040, if current infection trends continue.
Under the theme of “One life, one liver”, WHO’s World Hepatitis Day campaign highlights the importance of protecting the liver against hepatitis for living a long, healthy life. Good liver health also benefits other vital organs – including the heart, brain and kidneys – that rely on the liver to function.
WHO will share new guidance to track countries’ progress on the path to the elimination of hepatitis by 2030. To reduce new infections and deaths from hepatitis B and C, countries must: ensure access to treatment for all pregnant women living with hepatitis B, provide hepatitis B vaccines for their babies at birth, diagnose 90% of people living with hepatitis B and/or hepatitis C, and provide treatment to 80% of all people diagnosed with hepatitis. They must also act to ensure optimal blood transfusion, safe injections and harm reduction.