28 July is globally recognized as World Hepatitis Day. Hepatitis is a global health problem, with the five different hepatitis viruses (hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E) affecting hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
The most common types of hepatitis are B and C. According to the WGO Guidelines, despite having the hepatitis B vaccine available since 1982, 250 million individuals are chronically infected with the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and are at risk of developing HBV-related liver disease. No vaccine is currently available for the hepatitis C virus (HCV); 3–4 million people are newly infected with HCV every year, with 130–170 million people chronically infected. All told, 1 in 12 people worldwide is infected with viral hepatitis B or C.
According to WGO President James Toouli, Emeritus Professor of Surgery, "Patients with Hepatitis B remain as one of the largest disease burdens in the world. In particular the burden is heaviest in countries which can ill afford such an imposition. This is a preventable disease and indeed a disease that could be eliminated from the face of the earth, as effective vaccination has been available since 1982. It is a vision for WGO of eliminating Hepatitis B by working with international partners in instituting effective hepatitis B vaccination programs globally. I take this opportunity of inviting our international partners in fulfilling this vision."
"Hepatocellular Carcinoma is the #2 killer from cancer globally and 85% of the cases are due to Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C virus infection. These infections are preventable, treatable and, in the case of Hepatitis C, curable. The world community must mobilize to eliminate this global epidemic, much as it has to attack the problem of HIV, which chronically infects 34 million individuals globally compared to the almost 600 million chronically infected with the Hepatitis B and C viruses," adds Professor Douglas R. LaBrecque, Chair of the WGO Hepatology Interest Group.
In recognition of World Hepatitis Day, WGO is pleased to offer you the following tools and resources:
Supporting WGO Guidelines and Cascades
A library of over 20 WGO Global Guidelines has been published and written from a viewpoint of application around the world. Cascade-based guidelines offer different treatment options for diagnosis and treatment depending on the resources available. WGO has six Global Guidelines focused on hepatitis and related liver diseases:
Each Guideline is supported by WGO's Graded Evidence, a system built to help all those interested in the practice and research of gastroenterology keep track of the literature in topics covered by WGO Guidelines. This collection of Level 1 Evidence is available on the WGO website.