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Too few people have access to tests and treatment for hepatitis, says WHO

BMJ 2017; 358 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j3656 (Published 28 July 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;358:j3656
  1. Sophie Cousins
  1. Kathmandu

Although an increasing number of countries are invested in eliminating hepatitis, too few are taking action to test and treat people, the World Health Organization has said.

More than 70% of the 28 countries surveyed by WHO—which make up almost three quarters of the world’s hepatitis burden—have begun to develop plans to enable access to prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and services, new data have shown.

But while almost 90% of the countries surveyed—including Egypt, India, and South Africa—have set national hepatitis elimination targets, fewer than half are aiming for elimination by providing universal access to treatment.

The introduction of a short course of highly effective direct acting antivirals, such as sofosbuvir and velpatasvir, in 2014 transformed the treatment of …

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