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China releases new plan to control viral hepatitis

Updated: Nov 30,2017 8:34 AM     Xinhua

BEIJING — China released a new plan on Nov 28 to control the spread of viral hepatitis and improve the living quality of patients.

China has effectively slashed growth of viral hepatitis infection, but fighting viral hepatitis remains a challenge, said the plan issued by the National Health and Family Planning Commission and another 10 administrations.

More than 1.3 million viral hepatitis cases are reported in China every year, accounting for one third of all infectious cases that must be officially recorded.

The plan, covering the period from 2017 to 2020, emphasizes the importance of testing and vaccination.

Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted through unsafe injections during medical procedures and drug use, unprotected sex or via infected mothers.

According to the plan, all blood banks should check for the hepatitis B and C viruses in their blood supply.

More education on the disease is needed to ensure that knowledge of hepatitis prevention reaches 50 percent of the public or more by 2020, said the plan.

The plan also requires lower medicine costs, more medical services and consultation on viral hepatitis.

Viral hepatitis is a severe health threat and the leading cause of cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer. China had about 90 million people living with chronic hepatitis B in 2015.

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