Viral hepatitis affects an estimated 325 million people worldwide, with an additional 290 million people unaware that they are living with the disease, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Hepatitis causes severe inflammation of the liver, a vital organ that processes nutrients, filters the blood and fights infections. Approximately 1.2 million people die from either hepatitis B or hepatitis C per year, primarily from cancer caused by damage to the liver.
Yet, despite the grim statistics, viral hepatitis can be beaten. Egypt, once the country with the highest burden of hepatitis C in the world, now stands on the brink of eliminating the disease altogether. This White Paper outlines how they did it, screening 60 million people and treating 4 million. We hope it will serve as a useful guide, and as inspiration, for others to follow the same path and accelerate progress towards ending viral hepatitis as a public health threat.