Home > Current Affairs > International > Over 3.4 crore Indians infected with Hepatitis infection: WHO

Over 3.4 crore Indians infected with Hepatitis infection: WHO

Utkarsh Classes Last Updated 13-04-2024
Over 3.4 crore Indians infected with Hepatitis infection: WHO Report 8 min read

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Hepatitis Report 2024, released on 9 April 2024, India is one of the countries with the highest prevalence of viral hepatitis disease. According to the report, around 2.9 crore Indians were infected with hepatitis B infection and 0.55 crore with hepatitis C. 

The WHO released the report during the World Hepatitis Summit, which was held in Lisbon, Portugal, from 9 to 11 April 2024. WHO has set a target of eliminating Hepatitis worldwide by 2030.

The WHO report suggests that with better awareness, vaccination and healthcare, the target of eliminating hepatitis by 2030 can be achieved.

Highlights of the WHO Global Hepatitis Report 2024

According to WHO, in 2022, viral hepatitis and tuberculosis were the second leading causes of death among infectious diseases in 2022, after COVID-19.

Death due to viral hepatitis - An estimated 1.3 million people in 187 countries died due to viral hepatitis in  2022, as compared to 1.1 million. 83% of the deaths were due to  Hepatitis B, while 17% were killed by hepatitis C. 

Fresh infection declines - In 2022, 2.22 million were freshly infected by viral hepatitis, as compared to 2.5 million in 2019. Of the 2.2 million new infections, 1.2 million were infected with hepatitis B, and nearly 1.0 million were infected with hepatitis C.

Number of people infected worldwide- Overall, about 304 million people were living with viral hepatitis B and C in 2022. An estimated 254 million were living with hepatitis B, and 50 million were living with hepatitis C.

Age Group of infected person- Half the people infected with chronic hepatitis B and C infection are among people in the 30–54 years group, and men account for 58% of all cases.

West Africa Region leads the new infection case - Of the total newly reported viral hepatitis B infections, most cases were reported from the West African Region. 63% of the fresh cases were reported for this region.

Most hepatitis B deaths in the Western Pacific Region - The Western Pacific Region accounts for 47% of hepatitis B-related deaths.

Highest Hepatitis Cases in the World - The highest cases of hepatitis cases were reported from China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, the Philippines, and the Russian Federation.

Highest cases of Hepatitis B -  50% of the global hepatitis B cases in 2022 were reported from China, India, and Indonesia, followed by Nigeria, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Philippines, and Pakistan.

Highest cases of Hepatitis C-  Around 50% of the world's hepatitis C were reported from China, India, Indonesia, Pakistan, the Russian Federation, and the US.

Status of Hepatitis in India 

  • According to the WHO report,  around  50,000 new hepatitis B cases and 1.4 lakh new hepatitis C cases were reported in India in 2022.
  • 1.23 lakh people in India died due to the infectious hepatitis viral disease in 2022. 
  • According to the WHO report, only 2.4 per cent of hepatitis B cases were diagnosed, and 0 per cent received treatment. 
  • For hepatitis C,28 percent of the infected persons were diagnosed, and 21 per cent received treatment.

What are Hepatitis B and C

  • Hepatitis is liver inflammation caused by a virus in the blood. There are five main strains of the Hepatitis virus: A, B, C, D, and E, but type B and C are the major diseases causing strain worldwide.
  • Hepatitis A and E are mainly caused by ingesting contaminated food or water. 
  • Hepatitis B can be transmitted from infected mothers to infants at birth. It could also be transmitted through transfusion of contaminated blood and blood products, contaminated injections during medical procedures, and the use of drug use injections or through sexual contact.
  • Hepatitis C is mostly transmitted through exposure to infective blood. 

Disease Caused by Hepatitis 

  • Hepatitis causes inflammation in the Liver. Hepatitis B causes acute infection with nausea and yellowing of the eye and skin for several weeks.
  •  It can also cause lifelong liver disease, such as scarring of the liver called cirrhosis, and increase the risk of liver cancer.

Treatment of Hepatitis B, C and Government Response

  • Hepatitis B can be prevented through vaccination, while there is no vaccine for hepatitis C. Hepatitis C can be cured through medicine. In the case of hepatitis B disease, medicine has to take life- long while in the case of hepatitis C, most of the patients are cured with 12-24 weeks of medications.
  • The government of India has included vaccination against hepatitis B in its Universal Immunisation Programme. It is offered free of cost to pregnant mothers and newborn babies. The government also offers the vaccine to high-risk adults, like healthcare workers, under its viral hepatitis control programme. 
  • In India, the cost of medicine for the treatment of hepatitis is one of the lowest in the world.
  • The biggest problem in India is the lack of awareness about the disease. 

World Health Organisation (WHO)

The WHO  was set up on 7 April 1948 as an agency of the United Nations.

Members: 194 countries

Director General of WHO: Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (since May 2017).

Headquarters: Geneva, Switzerland.

The foundation day of the WHO, April 7, is observed as the World Health Day. 


Answer: World Health Organisation

Answer: Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. The World Health Organisation, in association with the Portuguese government, organised it.

Answer: 1.23 lakh people

Answer: Liver

Answer: 2030
Leave a Review

Utkarsh Classes

Download India's Best Educational App

With the trust and confidence that our students have placed in us, the Utkarsh Mobile App has become India’s Best Educational App on the Google Play Store. We are striving to maintain the legacy by updating unique features in the app for the facility of our aspirants.