Mongolia reached regional goal on hepatitis B control
More than 77% of the Mongolian population is estimated to have been infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) at some time in their life, and between 10% and 22% of the general population is chronically infected with the virus.
Liver cancer is the single most common cause of mortality – one of the highest rates in the world and six times the global average (Ted Alcon, 2011, Lancet, 2011). One in 10 deaths in Mongolia was reported to be caused by liver cancer.
Mongolia was one of the first countries to introduce Hepatitis B vaccine into routine immunization schedules for newborns and children under 1 year old. The incidence of viral hepatitis B has decreased substantially.
In order to monitor the effectiveness of the universal hepatitis B vaccination among children, WHO supported a series of national serological surveys. The first nationwide survey was conducted in 2004, involving 1,145 children aged 7-12 years old. The prevalence of HBsAg among the study population was 5.2% and the coverage of complete hepatitis B vaccination was 60%.
The second nationwide serosurvey for Hepatitis B universal vaccination was done in 2009-2010, involving 5,894 children aged 4-6 years old. The HBsAg carrier rate among was 0.53% and the proportion of children fully vaccinated was 82% (Davaalham, 2011).
Based on the second serosurvey results, Mongolia has been verified by the Regional Verification Committee as having achieved the Regional goal on Hepatitis B control.
WHO continues to support the hepatitis B control through support to the national strategy on viral hepatitis control, focusing on vaccination of high-risk groups and improvements in infection control, in addition to timely administration of a birth-dose of vaccine.