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vol.108 issue8  suppl.1Molecular characteristics and clinical relevance of African genotypes and subgenotypes of hepatitis B virus author indexsubject indexarticles search
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SAMJ: South African Medical Journal

On-line version ISSN 2078-5135
Print version ISSN 0256-9574


SPEARMAN, C W. Towards the elimination of hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma. SAMJ, S. Afr. med. j. [online]. 2018, vol.108, n.8, suppl.1, pp.13-16. ISSN 2078-5135.

Hepatitis B (HBV) remains a global health problem despite the availability of effective vaccines since 1982 and effective antiviral therapy. The global burden of disease is substantial, with HBV resulting in 887 220 deaths in 2015: acute hepatitis (87 076), cirrhosis (462 690) and hepatocellular carcinoma (337 454). The World Health Organization has a vision to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. Although HBV and its associated complications of cirrhosis, liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma are entirely vaccine preventable, there is no cure for chronic hepatitis B as yet. HBV elimination strategies will need to focus on effective and implementable preventive and therapeutic strategies such as upscaling HBV birth-dose vaccination, full HBV vaccine coverage, vaccination of high-risk groups, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, and identification of HBV-infected individuals and linkage to care with sustainable access to antiviral therapy.

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