Hepatitis refers to liver inflammation that is often caused by viral infection. There are five different types of Hepatitis virus (A, B, C, D & E) but only B, C and D can become chronic, leading to long-term damage to the liver. Chronic hepatitis is also the leading cause of liver cancer.
- Chronic hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) together affect more than 500 million people globally (one in 12 people), killing approximately one million people every year.
- Asia Pacific carries the major part of the global burden of viral hepatitis; China and India together have an estimated 123 million people chronically infected with HBV and 59 million people chronically infected
with HCV, accounting for almost 50 percent of all infections worldwide
- The number of people chronically infected with and annually killed by viral hepatitis is on the same scale as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria; despite having similar impact, hepatitis lacks the same level of awareness and political momentum
The World Health Organization's (WHO) Resolution on Viral Hepatitis (WHA63.18) of 21 May 2010 recognized viral hepatitis as a global health issue and designated 28 July 2011 as the inaugural World Hepatitis Day.