Western Pacific region


  • The region has one of the highest rates of prevalence of hepatitis B in the world with around 115 million people living with hepatitis B (6.2% of the population).
  • There are more than 14 million people living with hepatitis C in the Western Pacific (1% of the population).
  • The region bears 40% of the world’s deaths caused by hepatitis (1500 deaths every day).
  • Liver cancer is the second most common cause of cancer deaths in the Asia–Pacific region, and approximately 78% of liver cancer cases are a result of chronic viral hepatitis B or C. China alone accounts for over 50% of the global liver cancer death toll.


  • The region was the first to set the goal of reducing the prevalence of hepatitis B infection to less than 2% among children 5 years of age by 2012 and to less than 1% prevalence by 2017, through universal three-dose hepatitis B and birth-dose vaccination of infants.
  • The region adopted its regional action plan in 2016.

Given the high endemicity of viral hepatitis in the region – especially hepatitis B and C – we need to increase focus on prevention and screening, but also redouble our efforts in the treatment of those already infected.

Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific 

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