A child was vaccinated against Hepatitis. (Source: VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Vietnam is estimated to have 8.7 million people infected with hepatitis B while the number for hepatitis C are 1 million, according to the Ministry of Health (MoH)’s Department for Preventive Medicine.

Hepatitis B and C killed 23,000 and 6,000 people respectively in 2015, said the department at a conference in Hanoi on August 29.

In Vietnam, hepatitis B is transmitted mainly from mother to children while hepatitis C is spread via blood. These two types of hepatitis are main reasons for cirrhosis of liver, liver cancer, and deaths relating to viral hepatitis.

According to the WHO, hepatitis B and C can be prevented by vaccination, including a dose within 24 hours after birth. In Vietnam, the hepatitis B vaccination rate reached 95 percent.

Vietnam is one of 36 countries in the world issuing a national plan to fight hepatitis. The plan puts forward specific measures like increasing information-education-public communication work to raise public awareness, using good models to increase coverage of vaccination against hepatitis B for newborns within 24 hours after birth, and screening for early detection of hepatitis B and C cases among high-risk groups.-VNA