It is estimated that there are around 500 million people in the world chronically infected with hepatitis B and C viruses, which can trigger diseases as serious as cirrhosis and liver cancer. Today is celebrated World Hepatitis Day, and the Royal National Academy of Medicine (RANM) has claimed greater involvement of the Health Authorities in the care of these infections.

It is estimated that there are around 500 million people in the world chronically infected with hepatitis B and C viruses

During a commemorative day that the RANM celebrated last June, he stressed the need to launch a National Plan that includes the creation of Hepatitis Units. The president of the RANM, Professor Manuel Díaz-Rubio, affirmed that it is necessary to improve the awareness of the population about these infections, and warned about the important degree of ignorance that exists not only among society in general, but also between those affected themselves, since only 10% of the carriers of the hepatitis B and C virus are aware of their situation.

"It is a major health problem. Health education campaigns and early diagnosis and treatment are key to modifying the natural history of the disease. Also, therapeutic failure is a reality in many patients, so the progress in research remains a hope for this disease, "he said.

During the Conference, the president of the RANM read a statement in which the following objectives were highlighted as priorities:

  • Extend to the whole world the improvement of general sanitary conditions to hinder the chain of transmission of hepatitis viruses.
  • Develop National Hepatitis Plans aimed at working to increase awareness and prevention, as well as improve epidemiological knowledge.
  • Universalize vaccination against the B virus.
  • Increase efforts to obtain an effective vaccine against C.
  • Develop and dispose of new drugs against viruses B and C that are more effective, better tolerated, less expensive and that allow short-term treatments.
  • Dedicate special attention and follow-up to patients suffering from chronic diseases due to hepatitis B and C viruses, creating even specific units for this. These monographic units should homogeneously evaluate not only the indication of antiviral treatment, but a comprehensive multidisciplinary follow-up and support that favors compliance, and therefore therapeutic success.

Source: Royal National Academy of Medicine (RANM)

Update on Hepatitis B and C (November 2019).