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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

ke healthcare authorities and policy makers aware that this disease, if not tackled today, will be a major burden in the next 20 years as today's patients will develop liver cancer. It is better to act today than be unable to react tomorrow," said Professor Driss Jamil, a specialist in hepatitis B and C at the Department of Medicine, University of Casablanca, Morocco, and one of 12 members of the World Hepatitis Alliance Public Health Panel.

Professor Greg Dore, Head of the Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program, National Centre in HIV Epidemiology and Clinical Research, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia, and also a member of the Public Health Panel, added, "Increased awareness and understanding of the public health impact of chronic viral hepatitis is required to mobilise action on proven prevention and care strategies. Awareness raising will promote advocacy, improve global funding, and reduce the stigma and discrimination that affect many people with chronic viral hepatitis."

Did You Know?

- 500 million people worldwide are currently infected with

hepatitis B or C(1,2)

- This is over 10 times the number infected with HIV/AIDS

- Between them, hepatitis B and C kill 1.5 million people a year

- One in every three people on the planet has been exposed to

either or both viruses

- Most of the 500 million infected do not know

World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day is being observed on Monday 19 May and marks a brand new, entirely patient-led initiative. The day has been launched in response to the concern that chronic viral hepatitis has nowhere near the level of awareness nor the political will to tackle it that is seen in HIV/AIDS, TB and malaria. This is despite the fact that the numbers chronically infected with, and annually killed by, hepatitis B and C viruses are on the same scale.

World Hepatitis Alliance

World Hepatitis Day is being coordinated by
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SOURCE The World Hepatitis Alliance
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