Over 20 percent of Vietnamese population or 18 million people are suffering from hepatitis B and C.

This was announced by Prof. Pham Hoang Phiet, President of the Ho Chi Minh Liver and Gall Association at an Asia-Pacific conference on treatment of hepatitis B and C in Ho Chi Minh City on June 18 and 19.

Phiet added that one fifth of the infections are serious cases, which requires appropriate treatment.

A report at the conference also said that 75 percent of cases of hepatitis B in the world are in Asia-Pacific. This disease is the leading cause of cirrhosis, liver cancer and the 10th leading cause of death worldwide. About 15 percent to 25 percent of chronic Hepatitis B patients would die from liver diseases.

According to the Asia-Pacific Institute of Liver Diseases (APASL), hepatitis C is a large problem of public health in the region. The infection rate of hepatitis C in Japan , China , Taiwan and Vietnam is between 12 percent to 58 percent.

Organized for the first time on a regional scale, this conference brought together over 750 doctors and experts in hepatitis treatment from 16 countries and territories, including China, the Republic of Korea, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Laos, Taiwan, Hong Kong, the US, the UK, Italy and Switzerland./.