MANILA, 16 June 2014 - According to World Health Organization estimates, chronic hepatitis B and C affect more than 500 million people worldwide. Though home to about one quarter of the world population, the WHO Region for the Western Pacific accounts for nearly 50% of the 160 million chronic hepatitis B infections worldwide.
World Hepatitis Day this year was launched under the theme ‘This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it.’ The key message for this year in the Western Pacific is ”Preventing chronic hepatitis and liver cancer begins at birth”.
To protect health care workers from the consequences of occupational exposure to hepatitis B virus (HBV), the world’s second most potent carcinogen, the National Department of Health of Papua New Guinea (PNG) and partners including WHO and AusAID launched a health care worker vaccination programme on 19 February 2013.
A neonatologist’s perspective on translating vaccination policy into the practice of providing essential newborn care.