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Research Revealed on World Hepatitis Day Shows Countries Ill-equipped to Cope With Silent Epidemic
Date:7/27/2013

s a clear example; despite its huge burden there is little global pressure to address it. Consequently, the majority of governments have failed to dedicate resources to viral hepatitis, even in countries where prevalence is up to 20%.

The Global Report released by the World Health Organization last week showed the extent to which viral hepatitis is ignored. Only 37% of countries have a national strategy or plan for viral hepatitis, and less than 30% reported having a department responsible solely for viral hepatitis related activities. The lack of response to the world's 8th biggest killer is truly baffling. Not only does it put millions of lives at risk by allowing this silent epidemic to grow, it leaves the 500 million people who are chronically infected wholly abandoned without support or recognition.

In 2010 the World Health Organisation openly recognised that viral hepatitis is a major cause for concern by making World Hepatitis Day one of only 7 world health days officially recognised by WHO and all Member States. However, major changes to the global health landscape are yet to be seen. This World Hepatitis Day, the World Hepatitis Alliance has therefore launched a mass awareness campaign under the theme 'This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it.' to encourage people to find out more and to confront the silence around the disease.

The Alliance is also co-ordinating a global Guinness World Record attempt for the number of people performing the 'see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil' actions at the same time, actions chosen because in the same way the Three Wise Monkeys ignore the world around them, so the world has been ignoring viral hepatitis. With 58 teams from 25 countries around the world taking part, this is a considerable challenge but with a clear message: viral hepatitis is a silent epidemic. Know it. Confront it.

Notes to the Editor

World Hepatitis Alliance

The World Hepatitis Alliance is a non-go
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SOURCE World Hepatitis Alliance
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