A future free of hepatitis

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A future free of hepatitis

  • WHO highlighted need to make hepatitis care available, affordable and accessible to all without discrimination.

Why the action is needed

  • Hepatitis is the only communicable disease where mortality is increasing.
  • Southeast Asia has 20% of global morbidity burden of hepatitis.
  • 95% of all hepatitis-related deaths are due to cirrhosis and liver cancers caused by hepatitis B and C virus.
  • Viral hepatitis is preventable.
  • Clean food, good personal hygiene, and access to safe water and sanitation, can protect from hepatitis A and E.
  • Free hepatitis world is practical and feasible.
  • We have tools to diagnose, treat, prevent and eliminate chronic viral hepatitis.
  • Safe and effective vaccines exist to prevent hepatitis B.
  • Antiviral drugs can manage chronic hepatitis B and cure most cases of hepatitis C.

The challenges

  • Inaccessible services as they are usually available at centralized/specialized hospitals
  • Cannot be afforded by all.
  • Late diagnosis or lack of appropriate treatment.
  • Modest testing and treatment coverage gap needs to be addressed.

Transitional targets

  • To achieve 2030 target of eliminating hepatitis, some transitional targets are to be achieved.
  • By 2025, we must reduce new infections of hepatitis B and C by half,
  • Reduce deaths from liver cancer by 40%
  • Ensure 60% of people living with hepatitis B and C are diagnosed and half of those eligible receive appropriate treatment.

Action by WHO

  • An integrated Regional Action Plan for viral hepatitis, HIV and STIs 2022–2026 is being developed by WHO.
  • It will ensure effective and efficient utilisation of limited resources available for the region.
  • Guide countries to adopt person-centred approach rather than a disease-specific one.

Way ahead

  • Enhance political commitment across all countries of the region
  • Ensure sustained domestic funding for hepatitis
  • Improve access to drugs and diagnostics by further reducing prices
  • Develop communication strategies to increase awareness
  • Innovate service delivery to maximize use of differentiated and people-centred service delivery options
  • Decentralizing hepatitis care to peripheral health facilities, community-based venues and locations beyond hospital sites.


  • On World Hepatitis Day, there is need to act together with communities and all stakeholders for a future free of hepatitis.
  • This will lay firm foundation for healthier, more equitable and more prosperous world.