For over a decade, WHO has been supporting viral hepatitis prevention and control activities in China in collaboration with the Division of Viral Hepatitis of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Asia and Pacific Alliance to Eliminate Viral Hepatitis.
Prevention of viral hepatitis transmission
WHO has supported the China GAVI Hepatitis B (HBV) project that aims to strengthen HBV routine vaccination of infants in the Western provinces. The integration of HBV into the EPI in China since 2002 has been regarded as a success story in preventing hepatitis B through universal infant vaccination.
In June 2012, China was officially verified as having reached the regional hepatitis B control goal of reducing chronic hepatitis B infection in young children from over 7% to less than 1%. This exceeds the WPRO goal of 2%, which was set for 2012.
WHO injection safety tools have been translated into Chinese and disseminated. An infection control tool kit was produced together with the Beijing Ditan hospital, a WHO collaborating centre.
Data for policy and action
In 2011-12, WHO has assisted the China Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Immunization Program in implementing a pilot HBV surveillance project in Beijing and Jiangsu provinces to test standardized diagnostic tools for clinicians, and an improved case reporting system in order to strengthen the sentinel surveillance of acute HBV cases.
WHO also provided technical tools to China CDC to support outbreak investigation of Hepatitis A, B and C.
Partnership, resource mobilization and communication
In July 2012, World Hepatitis Day was celebrated in the Region and in China. WHO's Western Pacific Region marked the day with the slogan: "Know the risks. Stop the spread". This was an opportunity to raise awareness and call for more commitment from Member States to deliver focused, concerted actions, including prevention, screening and treatment of those already infected.
WHO organizes biannual consultations with viral hepatitis partners and stakeholders to discuss progress, challenges and research needs for addressing viral hepatitis in China.
WHO's viral hepatitis activities are also supported by the ZeShan Foundation.