The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that in 2019, 296 million people were living with the chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the world, resulting in an estimated 820,000 deaths from subsequent cirrhosis and liver cancer each year. This “pandemic of the poor” is growing fast, with an estimated 1.5 million new
acquisitions per year, mostly driven by vertical transmission during birth and delivery.
HBV is preventable by a safe, effective and inexpensive vaccine. In addition, although no cure currently exists for chronic HBV, cost-effective therapies to control viral replication and minimize vertical transmission make elimination of HBV feasible. Such tools, however, are not scaled up in regions where they are most needed and where resources are limited.
While major barriers prevent countries from addressing HBV elimination, new opportunities have emerged to support programmes. This white paper offers examples of successful models that countries have piloted to get started with HBV programming by focusing on prevention first, integrating HBV with existing programmes and service delivery systems, identifying efficiencies and cost savings,
and finding creative ways of financing programmes. Ultimately, the time and need for increased investments in HBV elimination is now, so we hope that other countries can build upon this momentum.
Download the White Paper here.