HANOI, July 28 (Xinhua) -- Vietnam has joined other eight Western Pacific countries in efforts to eliminate hepatitis in response to the World Hepatitis Day on Sunday following a commitment of the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region, state-run Vietnam News Agency reported Sunday.
Accordingly, the country aims to reduce Hepatitis B infection among children to under 2 percent in line with the goal set by WHO.
Vietnam is among nine countries in the Western Pacific region facing serious threat from viral hepatitis, a silent disease, but causing serious impact on public health, said the report.
However, in recent years, Vietnam has made encouraging achievements in the prevention of this disease. More than 50 percent of newborn babies were vaccinated against Hepatitis B over the past decade, thus remarkably reducing the rate of infection. No Hepatitis A and E epidemics broke out during the past 30 years.
In 2012, Vietnam for the first time launched a campaign"All people join hands to beat hepatitis"in response to the appeal of WHO. The campaign has brought about encouraging results: nearly 3 million people have received medical checks and tests for the viral hepatitis, helping detecting hundreds of thousands of cases of Hepatitis virus B and Hepatitis C infections as well as primary liver cancer.
To assist with the care and treatment of patients with viral Hepatitis B and C, the Vietnam Association for the Study of Liver Diseases has developed the "Guidelines for liver disease treatment " for all medical establishments nationwide. At the same time, it has also collaborated with the Vietnam Farmers'Association to launch a contest on viral hepatitis.
To eliminate Hepatitis B and lower the rate of infection among children to under 2 percent, the health sector plans to strengthen education campaigns to raise people's awareness on the disease and measures to prevent transmission.
Expert from the WHO have warned that primary liver cancer caused by viral Hepatitis B and C is increasing in Vietnam, while most patients only come to hospital in the late period, leading to difficulties in treatments.
According to WHO, 2 billion people worldwide are infected with Hepatitis B, 200 million people with Hepatitis C, and each year, more than 1 million people die from hepatitis of all types. In the world, one in every 12 people is infected with viral hepatitis.