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This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it – World Hepatitis Day

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world hepatitis day2013bHa Noi, 26 July 2013 - On World Hepatitis Day (28 July), the World Health Organization (WHO) is urging governments to act against the five hepatitis viruses that can cause severe liver diseases and lead to 1.4 million deaths every year. Some of these hepatitis viruses, most notably types B and C, can also lead to chronic and debilitating illnesses such as liver cancer and cirrhosis. In addition they lead to loss of income and high medical expenses for hundreds of millions of people worldwide.

“The fight against hepatitis is a public health priority,” says Dr Shin Young-soo, WHO Regional Director for the Western Pacific. "Governments and health authorities must scale up successful interventions, develop new approaches and mobilize all resources necessary to adequately address the burden and challenges caused by hepatitis."

In Viet Nam, an estimated 8.6 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus. Liver cancer is one of the leading causes of death in men. People who inject drugs have a particularly high prevalence of hepatitis C infection, with up to 98.5% of them infected with the virus.

Viral hepatitis is a group of infectious diseases causing inflammation of the liver. There are five main types of hepatitis virus—A, B, C, D and E— which affect hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Only hepatitis B and C virus can cause chronic infections. An estimated 500 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus. Approximately 1 million people die each year (approximately 2.7% of all deaths) from causes related to viral hepatitis, most commonly cirrhosis and liver cancer. An estimated 57% of cases of liver cirrhosis and 78% of cases of primary liver cancer result from hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus infection.

The transmission paths of the different hepatitis viruses vary. Hepatitis B, C and D are contracted through the blood of an infected person and, in the case of hepatitis B and C, also through unprotected sex. Hepatitis A and E are typically transmitted via contaminated water or food.

Viral hepatitis is usually preventable, treatable and often curable. If they know their status, people at risk for chronic hepatitis B and C can protect themselves and others. Most chronic hepatitis B infections are acquired during birth or early childhood. These can be prevented with vaccination at birth followed by at least two more doses. These doses of vaccine effectively decrease that child’s risk of developing chronic hepatitis later in life.

In Viet Nam, routine immunization for hepatitis B has been implemented for the past ten years. In 2011, fifty-five percent of newborns received a dose of hepatitis B vaccination at birth, and the coverage for the additional three dose vaccination reached 95%. According to a 2011 survey, this resulted in a reduction of hepatitis B infection in children aged five in Viet Nam to approximately two percent. Vietnam is moving toward the next control goal in 2017 of <1% prevalence in 5 year old children.

Reducing the risk of infection with hepatitis C requires avoiding unsafe injections, improving hospital infection control and promoting safe blood transfusion practice. Harm reduction programmes used to prevent HIV in people who inject drugs, such as needle, syringe and condom distribution, are also critical to prevent the transmission of hepatitis C.

WHO is currently developing new global guidelines on hepatitis C screening, care and treatment. The guidelines are expected to promote treatment for viral hepatitis C. Hepatitis medicines are now included in the WHO Essential Medicines List, which countries are encouraged to adopt. At the same time, hepatitis medicines must become more accessible and affordable.


Leandro Sereno, Fabio Mesquita, Masaya Kato, David Jacka, Thi Thuy Van Nguyen, and Thien Nga Nguyen. “Epidemiology, Responses, and Way Forward: The Silent Epidemic of Viral Hepatitis and HIV Coinfection in Vietnam” Journal of the International Association of Physicians in AIDS Care. Abstract available at

Nguyen VTT, Law MG, Dore MG. An enormous HBV-related liver disease burden projected in Vietnam by 2025. Liver International 2008, 28:525-531. Abstract available at :
For more information, please contact:

Ms. Tran Thi Loan
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1 December 2017

Michel Sidibé
Executive Director of UNAIDS
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations

This World AIDS Day, we are highlighting the importance of the right to health and the challenges that people living with and affected by HIV face in fulfilling that right.


Community spaces design contest for an exciting hanoi

Ha Noi, October 17/10/2017 - Aiming at improving the living environment and bringing culture and art to the community towards a better urban future, United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) successfully developed the project “Promote participatory, community-based and youth-led approach in safe, greening public spaces in Hoan Kiem district toward a pro-poor, inclusive and sustainable urban development” (hereinafter called Public Spaces project) under the Block by Block program with Mojang, the makers of the videogame Minecraft.


Deadline for round 1: From 17/10/2017 to 04/11/2017 Extended to 9 November 2017


Harsh punishment for child offenders doesn’t prevent further criminality

The age at which a child, can be held criminally liable is a controversial issue around the world. Within Viet Nam, this issue is currently being grappled with in the Penal Code amendments. Some argue that a "get tough on crime" approach is necessary to punish children to prevent further criminality.

However, international research shows that because of their developmental stages, labelling and treating children as criminals at an early age can have serious negative impacts on their development and successful rehabilitation.


New Year Greetings from the United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


On the occasion of New Year 2017, on behalf of the United Nations family in Viet Nam I wish to reiterate our appreciation and express our warmest wishes to our partners and friends throughout the country. We wish our partners and their families in Viet Nam peace, prosperity, good health and happiness in the coming year.

As we enter the second year of the Sustainable Development Goals era, we look forward to continuing our close cooperation for the sake of Viet Nam’s future development; one which is inclusive, equitable and sustainable, with no one left behind.

Youssouf Abdel-Jelil
United Nations Resident Coordinator a.i. in Viet Nam


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message for World AIDS Day, observed on 1 December


Thirty-five years since the emergence of AIDS, the international community can look back with some pride.  But we must also look ahead with resolve and commitment to reach our goal of ending the AIDS epidemic by 2030.

There has been real progress in tackling the disease. More people than ever are on treatment.  Since 2010, the number of children infected through mother to child transmission has dropped by half. Fewer people die of AIDS related causes each year.  And people living with HIV are living longer lives.

The number of people with access to life-saving medicines has doubled over the past five years, now topping 18 million. With the right investments, the world can get on the fast-track to achieve our target of 30 million people on treatment by 2030.  Access to HIV medicines to prevent mother to child transmission is now available to more than 75 per cent of those in need.

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