The World Health Assembly (the decision-making body of the World Health Organization) voted unanimously to adopt the first ever Global Viral Hepatitis Strategy on May 28 in Geneva, Switzerland, signaling the greatest global commitment in viral hepatitis to date.
The Global Health Sector Strategy for Viral Hepatitis
includes comprehensive and ambitious prevention and treatment targets for countries to reduce annual mortality rates, and aggressively increase screening and treatment for hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
The strategy sets a goal of eliminating hepatitis B and hepatitis C by 2030 (the targets of the Sustainable Development Goals set in September 2015) and includes a set of prevention and treatment targets which, if reached, will reduce annual deaths by 65 percent and increase treatment to 80 percent, saving 7.1 million lives globally by 2030.
Viral hepatitis is a significant international public health challenge, comparable to other major communicable diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Despite the significant burden it places on communities across all global regions, hepatitis has been largely ignored as a health and development priority until recently. It will no longer remain hidden, however, with the adoption of the resolution on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Read the WHO Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis