Published online Nov 28, 2018. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v24.i44.4959
Peer-review started: August 30, 2018
First decision: October 9, 2018
Revised: October 23, 2018
Accepted: November 2, 2018
Article in press: November 2, 2018
Published online: November 28, 2018
Globally, over 300 million people are living with viral hepatitis with approximately 1.3 million deaths per year. In 2016, World Health Assembly adopted the Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis to eliminate hepatitis by 2030. Different World Health Organization member countries are working on hepatitis control strategies to achieve hepatitis elimination. So far, only 12 countries are on track to achieve hepatitis elimination targets. The aim of the study was to give an update about the progress and challenges to achieving hepatitis elimination by 2030. According to the latest data, 87% of infants had received the three doses of hepatitis B virus (HBV) vaccination in the first year of their life and 46% of infants had received a timely birth dose of HBV vaccination. There is a strong need to improve blood and injection safety. Rates of hepatitis B and C diagnosis are very low and only 11% of hepatitis B and C cases are diagnosed. There is a dire need to speed up hepatitis diagnosis and find the missing millions of people living with viral hepatitis. Up to 2016, only 3 million hepatitis C cases have been treated. Pricing of hepatitis C virus drugs is also reduced in many countries. The major hurdle to achieve hepatitis elimination is lack of finances to support hepatitis programs. None of the major global donors are committed to invest in the fight against hepatitis. It will be very difficult for the low and middle-income countries to fund their hepatitis control program. Hepatitis elimination needs strong financial and political commitment, support from civil societies, and support from pharmaceutical and medical companies around the globe.
Core tip: Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of deaths worldwide. World Health Organization has produced a strategy to eliminate hepatitis by 2030. The major hurdle to achieve hepatitis elimination is lack of financial resources. If the targets in Global Health Sector Strategy are achieved, then the millions of lives will be saved from liver related premature deaths.