Letter to the Editor
Copyright ©The Author(s) 2021. Published by Baishideng Publishing Group Inc. All rights reserved.
World J Gastroenterol. Dec 21, 2021; 27(47): 8199-8200
Published online Dec 21, 2021. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v27.i47.8199
Progress on global hepatitis elimination targets
Yasir Waheed
Yasir Waheed, Multidisciplinary Laboratory, Foundation University Medical College, Foundation University Islamabad, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan
Author contributions: Waheed Y solely contributed to the article.
Conflict-of-interest statement: The authors declare having no conflicts of interest in relation to this publication.
Open-Access: This article is an open-access article that was selected by an in-house editor and fully peer-reviewed by external reviewers. It is distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution NonCommercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/Licenses/by-nc/4.0/
Corresponding author: Yasir Waheed, PhD, Associate Professor, Multidisciplinary Laboratory, Foundation University Medical College, Foundation University Islamabad, Defense Avenue, DHA 1, Islamabad 44000, Pakistan. yasir_waheed_199@hotmail.com
Received: July 13, 2021
Peer-review started: July 13, 2021
First decision: August 19, 2021
Revised: August 24, 2021
Accepted: December 7, 2021
Article in press: December 7, 2021
Published online: December 21, 2021

In 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted a Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis, with targets set for the years 2020 and 2030 to achieve hepatitis elimination. The main target of hepatitis elimination strategy is to reduce the incidence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) by 90% and mortality by 65% in 2030. In last 5 years, the number of people receiving HCV treatment has increased from 1 million to 9.4 million; however, this number is far from the 2030 target of 40 million people receiving HCV treatment. HBV and HCV incidence rates are down from 1.4 million to 1.1 million annual deaths but this is far from the 2030 target of < 0.5 million deaths. The coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic has severely affected the efforts in the fight against hepatitis. No major donor has committed to investing in the fight against hepatitis. Time is running out. There is a need to speed up efforts in the fight against hepatitis to achieve hepatitis elimination by 2030.

Keywords: Hepatitis elimination, Blood donations, Safe injections, Hepatitis B vaccination, Harm reduction

Core Tip: In 2020, progress was made in improving blood donations, hepatitis B and C treatments, and decreasing the incidence of hepatitis B and C. Some of the 2020 targets for hepatitis elimination were achieved but the 2030 targets are very ambitious and need strong political and financial support.