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
Enhancing Mental Health: Fostering Well-Being in the Baltic Sea Region
Can our mental well-being be positively affected by the power of art? We believe so. The idea of the Arts on Prescription project is that people with a diagnosed mental condition get a prescription for engaging in cultural activities which has been proven to have a positive effect on mental health. Read an interview with our project partner, Marta Ciesielska from Poland and step into the challenges public authorities face and the innovative solutions offered by this project.
13 February, 2024
Moving from What’s the matter with you? to What matters to you? – Humanising healthcare through social prescribing
Social prescribing is an approach that enables a range of stakeholders – often based in health-care – to connect individuals to non-clinical or non-therapy services and activities to empower them and improve their mental well-being. The Arts on Prescription model we use in our Interreg BSR project is one approach to social prescribing.
1 February, 2024
Mental health at work high on the political agenda
In 2023 the European Commission established tackling psychosocial risks at work as one of its key commitments in the Comprehensive Action on Mental Health. In 2024, the political commitments to improving mental health at work have not slowed down – in fact, on the contrary, action has only intensified both in the EU and the Baltic Sea Region.
29 January, 2024
NDPHS Partnership Annual Conference at the ministerial level gives a strong mandate to continue the work
On 17 January 2024, the Partnership Annual Conference convened in Stockholm to celebrate 20 years of collaboration within the NDPHS framework. Health Ministers from Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and Sweden, the State Secretary of Health and Care Services from Norway, and WHO Regional Director Dr. Hans Kluge gathered in Stockholm to reaffirm their commitment to the Partnership.
25 January, 2024
The conference “Connecting science and well-being: Addressing antibiotic resistance through prevention and health promotion”
The thematic Side Event to the 16th Partnership Annual Conference, which took place the day before the ministerial meeting, investigated the science of prevention and behavioural insights in the work against antimicrobial resistance. Presentations and a panel discussion by regional experts on the topic took the participants on a journey from the gut to the globe.
23 January, 2024
The NDPHS Secretariat is looking for an intern
Gain practical knowledge and professional experience related to the NDPHS activities, we are looking for a motivated trainee to join our team in the NDPHS Secretariat in Stockholm, Sweden. The programme grants a monthly scholarship. Read more what is in it for you and begin 2024 with a unique experience!
11 December, 2023
WHO report on Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases “Learning from the Arts”
There is a growing momentum to integrate the arts into the practices of the health-care sector. Research on the effects of arts on health and well-being has increased during the past two decades. There is now a body of evidence that arts interventions play a significant role in the prevention of ill health, promotion of good health and management and treatment of disease. The report summarizes the value of arts interventions for health, focusing on initiatives into prevention and control of noncommunicable diseases.
5 December, 2023
World Antimicrobial Awareness Week: Global Collaborations and Collective Action
Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a major global health threat across human, animal, plant, food, and environmental sectors. AMR is also one of the thematic areas of the NDPHS and every year in November, we join the global campaign to raise awareness and understanding about this pressing health threat.
20 November, 2023
All News >