Since 2013, ZeShan Foundation has been providing support to the World Health Organisation Office for the Western Pacific Region (WPRO). ZeShan’s grants aid WPRO in combating viral hepatitis in the region, and includes the allocation of specific support to the China office.
Viral hepatitis is responsible for 1.4 million deaths globally. There are estimated to be 115 million people with chronic hepatitis B (HBV) infection and 14 million with chronic hepatitis C (HCV) infection living in the Western Pacific Region, accounting for 40 % of people burdened with chronic hepatitis B and C across the globe.
Chronic HBV and HCV is known to lead to the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer over time. With 60% of the worlds’ affected population, the Western Pacific Region has the highest number of deaths caused by liver cancer globally, which is also the 6th top cause of death in the region. Six of the top ten countries with the highest incidence (new annual cases) of liver cancer in the world include Mongolia (highest incidence globally), Viet Nam, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Cambodia, China and South Korea. This being said, early testing and treatment can effectively reduce the progression of these diseases and subsequently the risk of development of liver cancer.
Patient Story (Philippines): https://www.who.int/philippines/news/feature-stories/detail/surviving-hepatitis-b-and-liver-cancer-vhal-s-story
News feature: https://www.montsame.mn/en/read/136120 World Hepatitis Day in Mongolia, 2018
The grant support from ZeShan Foundation has vaulted WPRO into leading the action on viral hepatitis in the Region, and has allowed the organization to establish regional responses in the effort to eliminate viral hepatitis as outlined by the Global Health Sector Strategy for Viral Hepatitis 2016-2021 . With the elimination of viral hepatitis being highlighted within the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, the Regional Action Plan for Viral Hepatitis in the Western Pacific 2016-2020 has been endorsed by all countries in the Western Pacific Region, which defines specific actions to be taken in order to better understand hepatitis epidemics. The outlined actions include awareness and knowledge building among stakeholders, strengthening public policy, and data generation, which will also be essential factor in the process of enhancing prevention strategies and improving access to affordable screening, diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis B and C.
Figure 1 illustrates the current progress in hepatitis response programmes in the Western Pacific Region, which underscores the critical importance of national leadership, development of national response plans and having data to inform policy and decision making.
Source: WHO Western Pacific Regional Office, January 2021.
Supporting countries to scale up interventions towards hepatitis elimination
The Western Pacific Region has led global efforts in working towards hepatitis elimination. Some of the regional successes include the triple elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B, as well as the scaled up hepatitis testing and treatment encompassed in Universal Health Coverage. See more here in country case studies  – China, Triple elimination, Mongolia, Malaysia
Link to overall WPRO hepatitis website: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/health-topics/hepatitis
Building capacity of healthcare providers
It is critical to ensure that healthcare providers are trained to deliver good quality hepatitis care and treatment. WPRO has published Training Modules on Hepatitis B and C Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment in collaboration with the WHO South East Asia Region and other WHO centers.
 WPRO-SEARO clinical training modules, published July 28, 2020
WPRO-SEARO clinical modules
Raising public awareness on viral hepatitis
To improve awareness around viral hepatitis and its impact on health, WHO offices in all countries work closely with the Ministries of Health and their partners to provide information to the public. Every year, awareness is raised globally through World Hepatitis Day on 28th July.
Link to videos: (snapshot)
Link to video on hepatitis (mash-up) https://youtu.be/Xl1hRjm-Uhk
WPRO-SEARO clinical training modules, published July 28, 2020
Philippines: scaling up hepatitis B services during the COVID-19 lockdowns (video World Hepatitis Day 2020): https://www.facebook.com/whophilippines/videos/291155845324695
Malaysia – Yap’s Story: Road to Recovery (a story of HIV and HCV for World AIDS Day 2020): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-6T-J0Sd10
Malaysia – Silas’s Story: Road to Recovery (World Hepatitis Day 2020): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aBstAHJ-0M&feature=youtu.be
Viet Nam – Chiến thắng bệnh viêm gan C | Successful fight against hepatitis C (World Hepatitis Day 2020): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KjT3r6OCxdY&t=48s
WHO country office China – 面对肝炎，做好检测，及早治疗，活出最好的自己 (World Hepatitis Day 2020): https://v.qq.com/x/page/o0530ahwxel.html
WHO country office China –消除歧视，消除肝炎 (World Hepatitis Day 2020): https://v.qq.com/x/page/d0530xpdu1y.html
WHO country office Mongolia – World Hepatitis Day 2020: https://www.facebook.com/WHO.MGL/videos/981267499003176