Report from a Viral Hepatitis Policy Forum on implementing the WHO Framework for Global Action on viral hepatitis in North Asia

J Hepatol. 2013 Nov;59(5):1073-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2013.06.029. Epub 2013 Jul 12.


Background & aims: The World Health Organisation (WHO) Prevention & Control of Viral Hepatitis Infection: Framework for Global Action offers a global vision for the prevention and control of viral hepatitis. In October 2012, the Coalition to Eradicate Viral Hepatitis in Asia Pacific (CEVHAP) organised the North Asia Workshop on Viral Hepatitis in Taipei to discuss how to implement the WHO Framework in the North Asia region. This paper presents outcomes from this workshop.

Methods: Twenty-eight representatives from local liver associations, patient organisations, and centres of excellence in Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan participated in the workshop.

Findings: Priority areas for action were described along the four axes of the WHO Framework: (1) awareness, advocacy and resources; (2) evidence and data; (3) prevention of transmission; and (4) screening and treatment. Priorities included: axis 1: greater public and professional awareness, particularly among primary care physicians and local advocacy networks. Axis 2: better economic data and identifying barriers to screening and treatment uptake. Axis 3: monitoring of vaccination outcomes and targeted harm reduction strategies. Axis 4: strengthening links between hospitals and primary care providers, and secure funding of screening and treatment, including for hepatocellular carcinoma.

Conclusions: The WHO Framework provides an opportunity to develop comprehensive and cohesive policies in North Asia and the broader region. A partnership between clinical specialists, primary care physicians, policy makers, and people with or at risk of viral hepatitis is essential in shaping future policies.

Keywords: Asia; Hepatitis B; Hepatitis C; Policy.

Publication types

  • Congress
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Asia, Northern / epidemiology
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / epidemiology*
  • Hepatitis, Viral, Human / prevention & control
  • Humans
  • Policy Making*
  • Risk Factors
  • Viral Vaccines / therapeutic use
  • World Health Organization*


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Viral Vaccines