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Published on Jul 26, 2012
The global burden of disease and mortality from viral hepatitis is high. An estimated 57% of liver cirrhosis cases and 78% of primary liver cancer cases result from hepatitis B or C viruses' infections. In recognition of the importance of the public health problem posed by hepatitis, in 2010, the 63rd World Health Assembly designated July 28th as World Hepatitis Day and requested an integrated response in the fight against hepatitis. From then on, the PAHO and the WHO have joined efforts to establish strategies to fight hepatitis either at global and regional levels. This call to action offers an excellent opportunity to the Region of the Americas for the approach to viral hepatitis as a recognized public health problem. The commemoration of July 28th, World Hepatitis Day, can be used as starting point for many initiatives in the countries.