China improves hepatitis treatment



More than 1,400 hepatitis B patients have been clinically cured thanks to a project on chronic hepatitis B treatment launched in China two years ago.

This has made the clinical project the most effective one in the world in terms of the number of patients cured, according to the Chinese Foundation for Hepatitis Prevention and Control (CFHPC).

Nearly 10,000 patients and 312 hospitals have participated in the project since it was launched in April 2018.

Primary liver cancer is the fourth most common malignant tumor and the second leading cause of tumor deaths in China, and about 85 percent of liver cancer patients have the hepatitis B virus infection, said Yang Xizhong, executive vice chairman of the CFHPC, on World Hepatitis Day which falls on Tuesday.

Viral hepatitis remains the class B infectious disease with the most reported cases in China, according to the National Health Commission.

About 70 million people are estimated to be living with hepatitis B, and another 7.9 million with hepatitis C. About 330,000 people die each year from cirrhosis of the liver and primary liver cancer caused by hepatitis B or C infections in China.

"China still falls far behind the goals of the prevention and treatment of Hepatitis B set by the World Health Organization (WHO)," said Yang, adding that the WHO targets 90 percent of cases to be diagnosed and 80 percent to be treated, while the numbers were 18 percent and 11 percent respectively in China.

The CFHPC initiated a new project on Saturday, looking for around 100 hospitals and 20,000 chronic hepatitis B patients, to further study reducing the incidence of liver cancer.