World Hepatitis Day 2023 - NDPHS

World Hepatitis Day 2023

31 July, 2023

The World Health Organization (WHO) aims to eliminate viral hepatitis as a health problem by 2030. The goal is threatened because identification and treatment of infected people are not sufficiently effective. Worldwide hepatitis B and C cause approximately 8000 new Infections every day. Only 10 % of hepatitis B infected and 21 % hepatitis C infected are aware of the infection and, respectively, only 2 % and 13 % of those who have been infected have been treated.

Hepatitis C is transmitted through blood and the most significant risk factor is injecting drug use. The infected person often does not know about his infection because hepatitis C is usually asymptomatic. Only one in four infected people in the early stages of infection receive symptoms such as loss of appetite, fatigue, fever, joint and muscle pain, and jaundice.

Most hepatitis C infected people remain carriers of the virus, meaning that the infection is chronic. Chronic infection predisposes to cirrhosis of the liver, which is the highest risk factor for liver cancer in Europe. There is no vaccine against hepatitis C. However, a timely found hepatitis C infection and its treatment will help prevent the health damage caused by infection and reduce the further spread of infections.

If we want to achieve the target set by the WHO, immediate action is needed: sufficient resources and properly targeted and effective measures. Since injecting drug use is the most significant risk factor for hepatitis C infection, prevention methods especially targeted to this group are needed, such as increasing information, exchanging used injecting equipment to clean ones and increase of opioid substitution therapy.

However, preventive measures alone are not enough. Testing and availability of treatment need to be improved, especially among people who inject drugs and prisoners. With current virus specific drugs, treatment of hepatitis C is simple and effective.

Everyone has the right to receive the treatment they need.


Text: Henrikki Brummer-Korvenkontio, Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), Member of the NDPHS Expert Group on HIV, TB, and Associated Infections

Other News
MentalHealthMatters partners tackle challenges and gaps related to mental health at work
Since the beginning of the MentalHealthMatters project in August, the partners in Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Poland, and Norway have been working with policymakers, employers, employees, researchers and other stakeholders to identify the national gaps in data and policy related to workplace psychosocial risks. Read what happened when the partners got together to discover the joint gaps and challenges.
28 September, 2023
The NDPHS Expert Group on HIV, Tuberculosis & Associated Infections welcomes a new International Technical Advisor
The NDPHS family is pleased to welcome Ms Marja Suomela from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare as the new International Technical Advisor (ITA) of the HIV, TB & AI Expert Group. Read our express interview with Ms Suomela about her thoughts on the topic and what the Expert Group has on its agenda for the months and years to come.
12 September, 2023
International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day
On September 9th, International Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder Awareness Day is observed. People all around the world raise awareness about the dangers of drinking during pregnancy and the plight of individuals and families who struggle with fetal alcohol spectrum disorders which can turn into a lifelong disability. 
8 September, 2023
PA Health and PA Education workshop at the EUSBSR Annual Forum 2023
The kick-off event for the joint PA Health (NDPHS Secretariat) and PA Education (Norden Association) project – “Economy of Wellbeing of People” will be held on October 4 in Riga. Register by September 10 and join us.
7 September, 2023
The MentalHealthMatters project’s kick-off
After receiving the positive news about funding in the Spring of 2023, the NDPHS Secretariat, our Expert Group on Occupational Safety and Health and project partners from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Norway and Poland have been actively plotting the project’s implementation and identifying national priorities and approaches. We now move from plans to action.
21 August, 2023
Lessons learned from the tested Arts on Prescription concept in Denmark
With the goal to improve their mental and social well-being and quality of life, 10 participants met voluntarily over a period of 8 weeks and took part in different cultural activities. A short film gives valuable insights into experiences of participants, coordinators and facilitators of the programme that has been evaluated in 2023. Read six most important conclusions of the evaluation.
17 August, 2023
Communication from the European Commission: A comprehensive approach to mental health
Today’s challenges on mental health can affect everybody and require concerted actions and the full commitment of all actors involved. Mental health is an integral part of people’s health. This Communication is the beginning of a new strategic approach to mental health, cross-sectoral in nature, going beyond health policy.
12 June, 2023
All News >