World Health Organisation

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has called for increase in testing and treatment services to reduce 1.34 million lives lost to hepatitis B and C.

The body said this ahead of the World Hepatitis Day (WHD) on 28, July.

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According to the WHO, this is needed to achieve the globally agreed goals, adding that in 2016, the World Health Assembly (WHA) endorsed viral hepatitis elimination goals as set by the WHO.

WHO defined a global reduction of 90 per cent in incidents of the disease and 65 per cent in mortality from hepatitis B and hepatitis C by 2030.

“Viral hepatitis B and C affect 325 million people around the world. Left untreated, these infections lead to liver cancer and cirrhosis, which together caused more than 1.3 million deaths in 2015 alone,” it said in a statement.

“Worldwide, less than 20 per cent of people had access to testing and treatment services for hepatitis B and C infections at the end of 2016.”