Hepatitis B, C – silent killer in Vietnam: conference

Blood test for a patient with Hepatitis virus (Photo: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Hepatitis B and C viruses, the silent killers that cause
millions of deaths worldwide a year, are estimated to affect over 8.7 million
Vietnamese people in 2017, as heard a conference jointly held by the Ministry
of Health and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Hanoi on July 21.

Speaking at the event, Deputy Minister of Health Nguyen Thanh Long said that hepatitis B and C are public health issues, referring to vulnerable groups of same
sex practices and injection drug users.

He underlined that the two forms of hepatitis put a heavy burden on the country
as the viruses steal thousands of lives every year. He also called the
participants to evaluate the viral hepatitis situation in Vietnam and discuss
effective measures to prevent the diseases.

Representatives from the WHO and a research group estimated that among 7.8
million people living with hepatitis B, 51,000 get cirrhosis, 14,000 develop liver
cancer and 32,000 die of liver diseases.

Policies scenarios have been studied to enhance viral hepatitis diagnose and
treatment, helping reduce infected cases. The health sector will make investment
in preventive intervention, testing and treatment to save more lives.

Up to 325 million people or 4 percent of the world’s population are
living with chronic hepatitis B or hepatitis C. Millions are at risk of slow
progression to cirrhosis and cancer and the viral hepatitis causes 1.34 million
deaths every year, a number comparable to deaths caused by tuberculosis and malaria.-VNA

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