The National, Monday July 29th, 2013
THE World Health Organisation (WHO) released its first country hepatitis survey, covering 126 countries, in commemorating World Hepatitis Day yesterday.
The WHO Global policy report on the prevention and control of viral hepatitis in member countries identifies successes as well as gaps in the implementation of four priority areas.
“The areas are: raising awareness, evidence-based data for action, prevention of transmission, screening, care and treatment,” WHO said in a statement.
It said the findings showed that 37% of the countries had national strategies for viral hepatitis, and more work is needed in treating hepatitis.
WHO director, pandemic and epidemic diseases, Dr Sylvie Briand said many of the measures needed to prevent the spread of viral hepatitis disease could offset the heavy economic costs of treating and hospitalising patients in the future.
“The findings underline the important work that is being done by governments to halt hepatitis through the implementation of WHO recommended policies and actions,” he said.
In addition to collaborating closely with countries, WHO has been working on developing networks and mechanisms that can deliver results.