Countries around the globe are observing the World Hepatitis Day on Tuesday.
Each year, the day is commemorated on July 28 to enhance awareness of viral hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer.
There are five main strains of the hepatitis virus – A, B, C, D and E.
According to WHO, 325 million people globally live with hepatitis B or C, and each year these viruses kill an estimated 1.4 million people.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, viral hepatitis continues to claim thousands of lives every day, WHO said on its website.
This year’s theme is “Hepatitis-free future,” with a strong focus on preventing Hepatitis B (HBV) among mothers and newborns.
HBV can be prevented among newborns through the use of a safe and effective vaccine.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that the global prevalence of hepatitis B infections in children under five years of age has been reduced to less than 1 percent, reports Xinhua.
"New research led by WHO and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows that together we have achieved the global target set in 2000 to reduce the prevalence of hepatitis B infections in children under five years of age to less than 1 percent by 2020," Tedros said at a virtual press conference on Monday.
"This landmark achievement means we will dramatically reduce the number of cases of liver cancer and cirrhosis in future generations," he said.