The spread of hepatitis can be prevented if countries adopt measures promoted by WHO. These include:
- universal newborn immunization against hepatitis B and vaccination against hepatitis A in high-risk groups
- prevention of mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B;
- promotion of safer sexual behaviour to reduce the risk of infection
- reduction of harm related to injecting drug use
- provision of a safe blood supply
- prevention of transmission in health care settings.
In addition, access to diagnosis and timely treatment reduces both symptoms of viral hepatitis and complications, including liver failure and primary liver cancer. This improves quality of life and reduces mortality.
Recognizing the tremendous burden caused by viral hepatitis, the World Health Assembly adopted resolution WHA63.18 in 2010, calling for a comprehensive approach to the prevention and control of viral hepatitis.