As many as 8 million people in Vietnam are suffering from hepatitis B or C, and liver cancer is the second leading cause of death in men.
The statistics were announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) Vietnam Country Office on July 28 on the occasion of the second World Hepatitis Day.
According to the report, the hepatitis B immunization program in Vietnam has been carried out over the past 10 years, and has helped reduce the rate of chronic infection among children under 5 to 2 percent.
Meanwhile, people who use drugs have a particularly high infection rate for hepatitis C, with up to 98.5 percent of them infected with the virus.
WHO experts stressed that hepatitis B and C would be a considerable challenge facing the country as a result of the lack of awareness and improper treatment. Some reports have shown that nearly 60 percent of people infected with hepatitis B or C virus have developed cirrhosis and nearly 80 percent developed liver cancers.
“Developing national policies for the diagnosis and treatment of chronic hepatitis B and C is one of the key priorities in preventing the cirrhosis and cancers of the liver," said Dr. Fabio Mesquita, Senior Advisor on HIV at the WHO Viet Nam Country Office.
World Hepatitis Day was created two years ago with the aim of raising awareness of the different forms of hepatitis.