Health

India ranks among the top 10 countries with two-thirds of hepatitis B & C burden: WHO

India Among Top 10 Countries With High Hepatitis Burden: WHO Report

New Delhi, April 9 (IANS) India has been identified as one of the top 10 countries representing nearly two-thirds of the burden of hepatitis B and C combined, as per the World Health Organization (WHO) 2024 Global Hepatitis Report released on Tuesday.

The 10 countries listed are China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Philippines, and the Russian Federation. Among these, China, India, and Indonesia lead in representing 50 per cent of the global burden for hepatitis B, followed by Nigeria, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Philippines, and Pakistan.

Data from 187 countries, revealed at the World Hepatitis Summit, show that six countries including China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, and the US account for 50 per cent of the global burden for hepatitis C, followed by Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Mexico, Brazil, and Malaysia.

According to the report, viral hepatitis infections are on the rise globally and claim about 3,500 lives daily, translating to approximately 1.3 million deaths annually. It is the second leading cause of death worldwide after tuberculosis.

“Despite progress globally in preventing hepatitis infections, deaths are rising because far too few people with hepatitis are being diagnosed and treated,” said WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.

The report highlights the importance of expanding access to testing and diagnostics, strengthening primary care prevention efforts, and utilizing improved data for action. WHO is committed to supporting countries in saving lives and reversing this trend.

IANS

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