WHO urges scale-up of HCV treatment

27 March 2018

Article: 52/1204

A report recently published by the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that the annual number of people receiving hepatitis C cure increased from around 1 million in 2015 to 1.5 million in 2016. However, global access to hepatitis C treatment remains uneven, with a small number of countries accounting for the bulk of the increase. Egypt and Pakistan accounted for about half of all people starting direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment to cure hepatitis C in 2016. There has also been encouraging progress in countries as diverse as Australia, Brazil, China, France, Georgia, Mongolia, Morocco, Rwanda and Spain.

The report also reviews the progress made in expanding access to life-saving treatment for hepatitis C infection in 23 low- and middle-income countries, and provides information from innovator and generic medicine manufacturers and multiple partner organizations working in the field of viral hepatitis.

According to the report, the overall number of people initiating DAA treatment has reached three million. However, this progress also points to a long road ahead, as it is estimated that 71 million people worldwide have hepatitis C infection, with all requiring treatment.

WHO’s progress report details the experiences of a diverse set of countries in overcoming barriers to achieve rapid progress. It calls for wider international action to help achieve the 2030 targets to eliminate hepatitis.

Source: WHO News Release, 8 March 2018