According to WHO, there are thousands of lives lost each day to viral hepatitis infections

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO) 2024 Global Hepatitis Report, the number of lives lost due to viral hepatitis is increasing.
Of these, 83% were caused by hepatitis B, and 17% by hepatitis C. Every day, there are 3500 people dying globally due to hepatitis B and C infections.
New incidence estimates indicate a slight decrease compared to 2019, but the overall incidence of viral hepatitis remains high.
These include 1.2 million new hepatitis B infections and nearly 1 million new hepatitis C infections.
More than 6000 people are getting newly infected with viral hepatitis each day.
These results fall well below the global targets to treat 80% of people living with chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C by 2030.
The WHO African Region bears 63% of new hepatitis B infections, yet despite this burden, only 18% of newborns in the region receive the hepatitis B birth-dose vaccination.
Service delivery remains centralized and vertical, and many affected populations still face out-of-pocket expenses for viral hepatitis services.


The World Health Organization’s (WHO) 2024 Global Hepatitis Report indicates that viral hepatitis is killing more people than it is saving. With 11.3 million annual deaths, the illness ranks second in the world among infectious diseases, right behind tuberculosis, the leading infectious killer.

In spite of improved diagnostic and treatment instruments and declining product costs, testing and treatment coverage rates have stagnated, according to a report presented at the World Hepatitis Summit. With prompt action now, however, it should still be possible to meet the 2030 WHO elimination target.

A projected 13.1 million deaths worldwide from viral hepatitis in 2019 to 13.1 million deaths in 2022 are attributed to the illness, according to new data from 187 countries. Hepatitis B was the primary cause of 83% of these, followed by hepatitis C in 17% of cases. Worldwide, hepatitis B and C infections claim the lives of 3500 people every day.

“This report paints a troubling picture: deaths are rising because far too few people with hepatitis are being diagnosed and treated, despite global progress in preventing hepatitis infections,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization. In order to save lives and halt this trend, WHO is dedicated to helping nations make use of all the resources available to them, at affordable costs. “.

254 million people have hepatitis B, and 50 million have hepatitis C, according to updated WHO estimates for 2022. Twelve percent of cases of chronic hepatitis B and C infections occur in children under the age of eighteen, and fifty percent affect adults aged thirty to forty-four. Fifty-eight percent of cases are male.

Although the overall incidence of viral hepatitis is still high, new incidence estimates show a slight decrease from 2019. Compared to 2.5 million in 2019, there were 2 point 2 million new infections in 2022.

A million and a half of them are new cases of hepatitis B and hepatitis C, respectively. Every day, more than 6000 new cases of viral hepatitis are reported.

Based on improved data from national prevalence surveys, the updated estimates were produced. They also show that the reduction in incidence has been facilitated by the expansion of hepatitis C treatment as well as preventive measures like safe injection practices and vaccination.

Progress made worldwide and areas lacking in diagnosis and treatment.

By the end of 2022, only 13% of individuals with a chronic hepatitis B infection had been diagnosed nationwide, and only 3% (7 million) had taken antiviral medication. Of those with hepatitis C, 36% had a diagnosis and 20% (12 point 5 million) had received treatment that was curative.

These outcomes are far short of the global goals, which call for treating 80% of patients with chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C by 2030. They do, however, show a marginal but steady improvement in the coverage of diagnosis and treatment since the 2019 estimates were last released. More specifically, the diagnosis of hepatitis B climbed from 10% to 13% and treatment from 2% to 3%, while the diagnosis of hepatitis C increased from 21% to 36% and treatment from 13% to 20%.

Different regions have different rates of viral hepatitis. Just 18% of newborns in the WHO African Region receive the hepatitis B birth-dose vaccination, despite the region bearing 63 percent of new cases of the disease. Treatment coverage among those diagnosed with hepatitis B is only 23% in the Western Pacific Region, which is 47 percent responsible for hepatitis B-related deaths. This is far too low a percentage to lower mortality.

Almost two-thirds of the world’s cases of hepatitis B and C are reported to have originated in Bangladesh, China, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, the Russian Federation, and Vietnam. In addition to stepped-up efforts in the African Region, achieving universal access to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment in these ten countries by 2025 is crucial to reorienting the global response toward achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

disparities in service quality and cost.

Even though generic viral hepatitis medications are readily available at reduced costs, many nations are unable to obtain them at these reduced costs.

Price differences continue to exist between and among WHO regions, with many nations paying more than international averages—even for off-patent medications or those covered by voluntary licensing agreements. For example, only 7 of the 26 reporting countries paid prices at or below the global benchmark for tenofovir, a treatment for hepatitis B, despite the fact that it is no longer patentable and available for approximately US$2 points 4 per month.

Comparably, just four of the twenty-four reporting countries paid prices at or below the global benchmark of US$60 for a 12-week course of pangenotypic sofosbuvir/daclatasvir, which is available to treat hepatitis C.

The provision of services is still vertical and centralized, and many afflicted groups must pay for their own viral hepatitis treatments.

Merely 60% of countries that submit data provide free viral hepatitis testing and treatment services, either totally or partially, in the public sector. There is less financial protection in the African Region, where only roughly one-third of the reporting nations offer these services at no cost.

Guidelines for quickening the eradication of hepatitis.

A number of initiatives to promote a public health strategy against viral hepatitis are outlined in the report, with the goal of expediting efforts to eradicate the disease by 2030. Among them are:.

increasing testing and diagnostics accessibility;.

transferring the focus of equitable treatment from policies to implementation.

bolstering preventative efforts in primary care.

streamlining the provision of services and improving the control and availability of products.

constructing investment cases in nations of priority;.

obtaining creative funding;.

taking action with enhanced data; and.

improving research for better hepatitis B diagnostics and possible treatments while involving impacted communities and civil society.

Financing is still a problem.

There is insufficient money to treat viral hepatitis, either globally or within national health budgets. This is caused by a number of things, such as conflicting priorities in global health agendas and a lack of knowledge about cost-saving strategies and technologies. This report aims to provide insight into how nations can deal with these disparities and get the resources they need at the lowest possible cost.

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