New Goodwill Ambassador for hepatitis in WHO South-East Asia Region
12 May 2017 – Legendary Indian actor Mr Amitabh Bachchan was appointed today as a Goodwill Ambassador for hepatitis in the WHO South-East Asia Region. In accepting the appointment, Mr Bachchan said, "I am absolutely committed to the cause of hepatitis. As a person living with hepatitis B, I know the pain and sufferings that hepatitis causes. No one should ever suffer from viral hepatitis." Dr Gottfried Hirnschall, WHO Director for HIV and hepatitis, said "Mr Amitabh Bachchan's courage, commitment and compassion are widely appreciated by the global hepatitis community. We need champions like Mr Bachchan to speak out on viral hepatitis to influence opinion leaders and to accelerate the hepatitis response."
WHO Director-General hails progress in HIV and hepatitis
9 May 2017 –WHO Director-General, Dr Margaret Chan has highlighted dramatic transformations in the global fight against HIV/AIDS, and rapid visibility gained in the emerging response to viral hepatitis, in her final report Ten years in public health 2007–2017. In the chapter, Viral hepatitis: a hidden killer gains visibility, Dr Chan highlights the WHO's rapid response to viral hepatitis, and the global support and commitments required to make its elimination a reality. “Many hard-won lessons from the HIV experience provided a head start for aggressive action against viral hepatitis, which is becoming a leading killer," states Dr Chan. "WHO acted quickly to fight the stigma attached to a disease prevalent in marginalized communities, issuing a viral hepatitis strategy in 2016, followed in 2017 by a report that gives countries guidance on implementation of the strategy.”
WHO launches its first Global hepatitis report
21 April 2017 – The World Health Organization releases a first Global hepatitis report with global and regional estimates on viral hepatitis B and C burden, mortality and incidence. The new report reveals that a large majority of an estimated 325 million people living with the disease lacks access to life-saving testing and treatment. As a result, millions of people are at risk of a slow progression to chronic liver disease, cancer and death.
World Hepatitis Summit 2017 – Programme launched
The programme for the World Hepatitis Summit 2017 has now been launched. The theme of this year’s Summit is Implementing the Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis (GHSS): Towards the elimination of hepatitis as a public health threat. This programme seeks to promote advocacy, encourage the exchange of ideas and facilitate learning to use in the fight against viral hepatitis. It has been created by a Programme Secretariat and sub-Committees made up of experts in the field of hepatitis and civil society groups. Additional content and speakers will continue to be added over the next few months.
Bhutan, Morocco: Experts help shape global hepatitis protocols
March 2017 – WHO released the first hepatitis surveillance manual, followed by a draft protocol for biomarker surveys, to support countries in implementing this manual. Prior to the WHO manual, countries created their own ad hoc protocols. Consequently, many countries asked WHO for immediate assistance in adjusting the template protocol to their own settings. The first 2 workshops for protocols on global hepatitis biomarker surveys were hosted by Bhutan and Morocco.
World Hepatitis Day 2017 "Eliminate Hepatitis"
March 2017 – WHO, the World Hepatitis Alliance, and partners have agreed to commemorate World Hepatitis Day 2017 under the theme "Eliminate hepatitis". The global campaign, observed on 28 July, will target every person affected by hepatitis, promoting awareness and actions to prevent, treat and cure this narrowly recognized but manageable epidemic.
325 millionEstimated 325 million people were living with chronic hepatitis infections (HBV or HCV) worldwide in 2015.For more: fact sheet on hepatitis B
1.34 millionGlobally, 1.34 million people died of viral in 2015.For more: global strategy on viral hepatitis
>95% Over 95% of people with hepatitis C can be completely cured within 2-3 months.For more: fact sheet on hepatitis C
News and events
WHO at the International Liver Congress 2017
New goodwill ambassador for hepatitis in WHO South-East Asia Region
Interview of Dr Gottfried Hirnschall at the International Liver Congress 2017
Interview of Dr Yvan Hutin at the International Liver Congress 2017
Global hepatitis report - infographics
New hepatitis data highlight need for urgent global response
Over 1 million treated with highly effective hepatitis C medicines
Know your hepatitis status – increasing access to testing for a hidden infection.