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World Hepatitis Alliance Calls on Governments to Take Urgent Action to Tackle Chronic Viral Hepatitis B & C Epidemic
Date:5/19/2008

GENEVA, Switzerland, May 19 /PRNewswire/ --

- Shocking Lack of Global Statistics Prompts Creation of First Global Resource on Hepatitis: The Hepatitis Atlas

The World Hepatitis Alliance, a newly formed Non-Governmental Organisation, today called on governments around the world to do more to drive improvements in prevention, diagnosis and treatment for people living with chronic viral hepatitis B and C.

Although it is estimated that 500 million, approximately one in 12 people, are infected with either chronic viral hepatitis B or C globally(1,2), there is a serious lack of awareness and political will to tackle these diseases.

Marking the first ever truly international World Hepatitis Day, the World Hepatitis Alliance today launched "The Hepatitis Atlas: Completing the Data Map" - a resource designed to become the first global public compendium of statistics and information relating to chronic viral hepatitis B and C. The Hepatitis Atlas has been launched as a result of the shocking lack of up-to-date global statistics relating to the two viruses.

Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance, said the current lack of data highlighted the need for greater surveillance at local, national and international levels. "If this information is not easily available, how can governments begin to tackle these diseases that kill 1.5 million people a year?" Mr. Gore said. "Governments are simply working in the dark and need to do more to ensure chronic viral hepatitis B and C are high up on national and international healthcare agendas."

The World Hepatitis Alliance is also asking governments to sign up to 12 Asks for 2012 aimed at combating chronic viral hepatitis B and C. The '12 Asks' are a series of requests for commitment from policy makers to recognise the impact of the disease and the importance of adopting measures that address the issue from a public health perspective. "The challenge for viral hepatitis is to ma
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SOURCE The World Hepatitis Alliance
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