The Western Pacific Region of WHO (WPRO) is disproportionately affected by hepatitis B and C, and also faces challenges associated with limited resources and capacity. Compared with other geographical regions, WPRO has the highest number of viral hepatitis-related deaths per year, accounting for approximately 39% of global mortality due to hepatitis, of which 94% is attributable to chronic hepatitis B and C infections. Within WPRO, the highest percentage of hepatitis-related mortality is attributed to liver cancer (67%), followed by cirrhosis (27%), and acute hepatitis (6%). More people die in the region from hepatitis related illness than from HIV, Tuberculosis and Malaria combined.
The WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis is involved in numerous efforts to combat the challenges in the WPR to achieve the global WHO goal of elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. The challenges include: determination of prevalence in the region and high-risk populations; strengthening laboratory diagnostic capacity; improving data collection and records; identification of individuals at risk and linking to care; and prevention of mother to child transmission.
Information on some of our current reseach projects can be accessed below: