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WHO Urges Countries to Act Quickly to Decrease Deaths From Viral Hepatitis

© REUTERS / Denis BalibouseGeneral view of the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, February 1, 2016
General view of the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, February 1, 2016 - Sputnik International
World Health Organization (WHO) is urging countries to take rapid action to improve knowledge about the viral hepatitis, and to increase access to testing and treatment services, according to official press release.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The countries all over the world should act to reduce deaths from viral hepatitis and improve knowledge about this disease, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Wednesday.

"Ahead of World Hepatitis Day, 28 July, WHO is urging countries to take rapid action to improve knowledge about the disease, and to increase access to testing and treatment services," a WHO press release reads.

Immunoassay screening lab the blood is tested for infection (hepatitis, syphilis, HIV) on automatic equipment at the Novosibirsk blood donation center - Sputnik International
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The organization said that around 400 million people were infected with hepatitis B and C worldwide, and only 1 in 100 of those with the disease was being treated.

"The world has ignored hepatitis at its peril. It is time to mobilize a global response to hepatitis on the scale similar to that generated to fight other communicable diseases like HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis," WHO Director-General Dr. Margaret Chan was quoted as saying by the organization.

The WHO added that in May 194 governments pledged to treat eight million individuals for hepatitis B or C by 2020 as part of the Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis.

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