Supporting the launch of guidelines and policies to address viral hepatitis

1 Apr 2015 Bridie Taylor

WHO Injection Safety policy

Every year 1.7 million people are infected with hepatitis B through unsafe injection and 315,000 with hepatitis C. Yet up to 90% of the 16 billion injections given every year are unnecessary. Avoiding unsafe injection practices will vastly reduce new infections. In February, WHO launched a new Injection Safety Programme to raise awareness and provide guidance in best injection practice with a goal of transitioning to reuse-prevention and needlestick-prevention syringes for all therapeutic injections by 2020. WHA chaired the session on the other essential part of the programme – how to reduce unnecessary injection. Read the guidelines here.

WHO Hepatitis B guidelines

Following the launch of the WHO Hepatitis C guidelines last year, WHO have now released the first-ever guidelines on the treatment of chronic hepatitis B. A staggering majority of the 240 million people with hepatitis B do not have access to the medicines that can prevent cirrhosis and liver cancer. The new guidelines provide clear information on care from determining who needs treatment to what medicines to use and how to monitor people long term. During the press launch of the guidelines and the subsequent explanatory meeting at APASL, WHA presented the patient/community perspective and joined WHO on the panel to answer questions on the global burden of viral hepatitis and how guidelines will help towards preventing deaths worldwide. Read the guidelines here.