European Region

Situation:

  • 15 million people in the European Region are living with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection and more than 14 million with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. 
  • The main routes of transmission include sharing contaminated needles and equipment in drug use, body piercing, tattooing and acupuncture.
  • Over 171,000 die every year from hepatitis B or C in Europe.
  • Two thirds of people with hepatitis B or C in the region live in eastern Europe and central Asia.

Response:

  • All donated blood is now screened for hepatitis B and C.
  • Two of the most effective preventative methods are raising awareness of the risks and adopting harm reduction policies.
  • In 2016, WHO EURO launched a regional strategy to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030.

Hepatitis B and C each affects up to 2% of the population in the WHO European Region [...] We need to take urgent action, in close collaboration with our partners, to address this neglected and silent epidemic.

Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO Regional Director for Europe

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