World Health Organization: Hepatitis Claims 3,500 Lives Daily

Viral hepatitis continues to claim the lives of 3,500 individuals daily, a number on the rise, urging swift action, a report by the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.

New data from 187 countries revealed that the estimated number of deaths from viral hepatitis increased from 1.1 million in 2019 to 1.3 million in 2022, as stated in the report released at the Global Hepatitis Summit.

Meg Doherty, Director of the Department of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, and Sexually Transmitted Infections at WHO, considered these trends deeply concerning.

Overall, 3,500 people die every day worldwide due to hepatitis infection, with 83% of them attributed to hepatitis B and 17% to hepatitis C.

Updated WHO estimates indicate that 254 million individuals were infected with hepatitis B, while another 50 million were infected with hepatitis C in 2022.

Globally, only 3% of individuals with chronic hepatitis B infection received antiviral therapy by the end of 2022 while 20% of hepatitis C patients received treatment.

Moreover, Meg Doherty emphasised that these results are far from the global goal of treating 80% of individuals with viral hepatitis by 2030.

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stated in a release that despite progress in prevention worldwide, the number of deaths is increasing due to the diagnosis and treatment of very few individuals infected with hepatitis.

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