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The World Health Organisation (WHO) logo is seen near its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Reuters

WHO report raises the alarm over increased viral hepatitis infections

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The 2024 Global Hepatitis Report, released Tuesday at the World Hepatitis Summit, indicates that deaths from the world’s second-most infectious disease are increasing. 

At least 3500 people die globally due to hepatitis B and C infections every day, the report said. 

“This report paints a troubling picture, despite progress globally in preventing hepatitis infections, deaths are rising because far too few people with hepatitis are being diagnosed and treated,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

“New incidence estimates indicate a slight decrease compared to 2019, but the overall incidence of viral hepatitis remains high.’’, according to a World Health Organization release that further revealed that new data from 187 countries show that the estimated number of deaths from viral hepatitis increased from 1.1 million in 2019 to 1.3 million in 2022.  

The report then recommends that countries improve access to testing and diagnostics, strengthen primary care prevention efforts, simplify service delivery, increase financing, use improved data for action, engage affected communities, and advance research for improvements in diagnostics and a potential cure. 

Implementing these measures will see the world stay on track toward the WHO 2030 elimination goal. 


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