TechNet-21 - Forum

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Many thanks to Steven Wiersma for this note. May 19 has been commemorated as the World Hepatitis Day for the last three years. On this day in 2010, the World Health Assembly is scheduled to consider a comprehensive strategy on viral hepatitis including creating an official “health day.” Regardless of the outcome, it is clear that viral hepatitis causes a tremendous burden of disease. In addition, to the 159,000 annual deaths due to acute hepatitis B and C, most of the estimated annual 750,000 deaths come from viral hepatitis-caused cirrhosis and liver cancer. The World Health Organization (WHO) is responsible for a number of elements of viral hepatitis prevention and control. WHO does not have a comprehensive strategy for viral hepatitis. To date, prevention and control efforts have been successful but fragmented. As WHO increases its role in hepatitis prevention and control, partnerships will be important to increase technical and financial support for these activities. To collect information regarding what activities exist at country level and to assess the gaps and unmet needs, an inventory of hepatitis prevention and control activities in WHO Member States was conducted. This work was done in partnership with the World Hepatitis Alliance, a non-governmental organization that represents approximately 200 hepatitis B and hepatitis C patient groups from around the world. The report shows that 80% of Member States consider hepatitis to be an urgent public health issue and over 90% indicated that WHO assistance would benefit their national efforts to prevent and control these diseases. The full information in the report will guide the work of WHO in developing recommendations and action plans for the global control of hepatitis. This report will also serve as a resource to governments as they improve their hepatitis monitoring, education, prevention and treatment policy. Find out more at: Health Topics: Hepatitis B Viral Hepatitis, report to the World Health Assembly: Viral Hepatitis: Global Policy: Results of a survey

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