WHO’s latest Hepatitis strategies are focused on preventing and reducing damage caused by hepatitis, what should hepatitis B and C patients do?
According to the latest data provided by the World Health Organization, there are 400 million people living with hepatitis B and C worldwide; 1.4 million die due to these infections every year and many more become newly infected.  In recent years, WHO launched a range of new strategies and guidelines for this serious global problem. In 2014 and 2015, for the first time, WHO introduced countermeasures guidance to countries around the world on hepatitis C and B respectively. In the guidelines, WHO clearly presented a 3-part prevention plan which included (not limited to) the following :
- immunization with the hepatitis A and B vaccines to prevent co-infection from these hepatitis viruses to protect the liver;
- early and appropriate medical management including antiviral therapy if appropriate; and
- regular monitoring for early diagnosis of chronic liver disease (including liver cirrhosis and liver cancer)
Another document published by WHO – “Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis Infection” further states that our goals should be to reduce morbidity and mortality due to viral hepatitis, improve the care of patients with viral hepatitis and improve the support provided by our society to hepatitis patients.  This implies that WHO is recommending hepatitis patients to think further; other than just killing the virus, focus should also be put on these aspects: how to avoid the spread of the virus, how to reduce liver damage caused by the virus, how to prevent liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, and how to improve activity and ability to work.
In a sense, it also shows that WHO does not consider the effects of current treatment options on viral hepatitis B and C to be ideal. These treatments advocated by various professionals failed to address the hazards of viral hepatitis B and C, prevent new infections, and lower the number of patients, or the number of deaths caused by the disease. However, countries around the world have paid a very high price because of these ineffective methods.
For now, the general consensus is that our focus should be put on: preventing new infections and reducing the spread of the virus, advocating and seeking ways to reduce inflammation and damage caused by hepatitis, preventing inflammation in the liver to reduce risks of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer, and improving the everyday ability and life skills of hepatitis patients.
In this context, our liver health maintenance methods that we advocate and promote are very much in line with the proposal and conclusions by WHO.
- World Hepatitis Day 2015 to focus on prevention. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/hiv/mediacentre/news/whd2015_preventhepatitis/en/
- Hepatitis C. (2015, July). Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs164/en/
- WHO. (2012). Prevention & Control of Viral Hepatitis Infection: Framework for Global Action. pp17.
- * All research and clinical data should be used as reference purposes only, results may vary.