Viral hepatitis B: a lifelong disease

The Center of Public Health of the Ministry of Health of Ukraine informs that the number of people infected with hepatitis C in Ukraine is estimated at 1 million 300 thousand people, and hepatitis B - more than 500 thousand people. Viral hepatitis B and C pose a serious threat to public health. About 80% of cases of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma are caused by viral hepatitis.

Early diagnosis of viral hepatitis is extremely important, because the treatment can prevent the development of diseases and serious liver damage

Viral hepatitis C is curable in 95% of cases. The treatment lasts from 12 to 24 weeks. Viral hepatitis B needs lifelong treatment. However, due to timely and regular use of drugs, the development of the disease can be significantly restrained. Treatment for viral hepatitis B and C can be obtained from the state budget. A map of health facilities that provide services for the diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis is here.

The disease can be prevented by triple vaccination. Vaccination of newborns against hepatitis B prevents the development of infection in the child and is the only reliable protection against this disease. Hepatitis B vaccination for children in Ukraine is free.

In Ukraine, vaccination of children against hepatitis B has been planned since 2002. Therefore, people born before 2002 are generally not protected from the disease, but can be immunized against hepatitis B in adulthood.

In November 2019, Ukraine joined the Global Strategy for the Elimination of Viral Hepatitis B and C. Our country has adopted a National Strategy for Combating HIV / AIDS, Tuberculosis and Viral Hepatitis until 2030. The goals of the State Strategy in terms of viral hepatitis until 2030 are:

  • prevention of 90% of new cases of viral hepatitis;
  • diagnosing 90% of people who have viral hepatitis and do not know about their disease;
  • treatment of 90% of patients (for people with viral hepatitis C - this involves complete recovery from the disease, and for people with hepatitis B - control over the development of the disease and prevention of liver damage).

The Strategy envisages strengthening the system of epidemiological surveillance of viral hepatitis, expanding access to diagnosis and treatment, introducing new simplified approaches to the detection and management of patients, raising general awareness of the problem of viral hepatitis.

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