La Jornada – WHO urges increased testing for silent killer hepatitis

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) warns that viral hepatitis kills 100,000 people a year in the Americas, with at least 67,000 new infections.

Considered the silent killer of the disease, it is estimated that only 18% of hepatitis B patients and 22% of hepatitis C cases in the region know they have the disease. Of these, only 3% and 18%, respectively, received treatment.

On World Hepatitis Day, commemorated each year on July 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) calls for the expansion of testing and treatment for viral hepatitis because “viral hepatitis will kill more people than malaria by 2040 at current levels of infection.” , tuberculosis and HIV combined. The trend continues.”

He emphasized that hepatitis can lead to liver damage and cancer, which is why more than one million people die every year worldwide. He stressed that among the five types of hepatitis, hepatitis B and C caused the most disease and death.

Hepatitis C is curable, but only 21% of infected people are diagnosed and 13% receive curative treatment, while only 10% of people with chronic hepatitis B are diagnosed and 2% receive it, the World Health Organization says Medicines that save lives. Their lives.

Meanwhile, the Pan American Health Organization highlighted that 5.4 million people in the Americas are living with hepatitis B and 4.8 million are living with hepatitis C. Due to lack of access to diagnosis and treatment, 100,000 people die each year from hepatitis-related diseases in the region.

The multinational organization also recognized that the price of hepatitis C treatment in countries participating in regional revolving fund procurement has been reduced by $80 to $150 over a 12-week period due to the introduction of generic drugs. Drug.

In addition, vaccination against hepatitis B is included in the schedules of all countries and territories in the Americas. He emphasized that over the past five years, 38 countries in the region have purchased more than 31 million doses of vaccines against this type of hepatitis.

One of the global priorities endorsed by the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization is the prevention of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B, which is why it recommends that all pregnant women be tested and, if positive, treated and treated to ensure that newborns receive the vaccine, This task, they confirm, will be key to stopping infectious disease.

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