A meeting was held in Ho Chi Minh City on July 28 in response to World Hepatitis Day, during which a representative from the World Health Organisation released statistics showing that 11 in every 100,000 Vietnamese people are infected with hepatitis virus - a “silent killer”.

According to the WHO, viral hepatitis – a group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D and E – affects millions of people worldwide, causing acute and chronic liver diseases and killing around 1.4 million people each year.

In Vietnam, it is estimated that 10-25 percent of the population are infected with hepatitis B virus, while 0.4-4.1 percent of the total are infected with hepatitis C.

Viral hepatitis is rated among the diseases needing close supervision by the Health Ministry. The ministry recently set up a national-level advisory group to draw up guidelines on the treatment of hepatitis C and expand the vaccination rate of hepatitis B.

From now to August 8, the Central Hospital of Tropical Diseases will also provide free hepatitis C tests for 1,000 people with high risk of infection.-VNA