ULAN BATOR, July 27 (Xinhua) -- The World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday praised the Mongolian government's efforts in eliminating hepatitis B and C as a good example in the global fight against the diseases.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus sent a congratulatory video message to an official event held here on Friday for World Hepatitis Day, saying Mongolia is a country with the world's highest rate of liver cancer caused by hepatitis B and C, and also a good example for the world to eliminate the viral diseases.
Mongolia's government has shown great commitment to addressing hepatitis through its "Whole-Liver Mongolia" national program, therefore,the WHO is organizing an official event for World Hepatitis Day in Ulan Bator in cooperation with the Mongolian government, Ghebreyesus said.
He also called on all countries to work energetically towards the goal of eliminating hepatitis by 2030, and stop new infections.
According to the Mongolian Health Ministry, more than 10 percent of Mongolia's population are living with hepatitis B and C, and the country lost over 1,600 people to liver cancer last year caused by the diseases.
About 80 percent of liver cancer cases in the country are diagnosed at a late stage, the ministry said.
Mongolia has a population of some 3 million. It aims to stop new cases of hepatitis B and C, and dramatically reduce the mortality caused by liver cirrhosis and cancer by 2020.
To achieve the goal, Mongolia launched the "Whole-Liver Mongolia" national program in May 2017, and over 350,000 people aged 40-65 were tested for hepatitis B and C for free in the first phase and over 70 percent of the people diagnosed with hepatitis received treatment.
In the second phase of the program this year, 1.8 Mongolians aged 15-39 and over 65 would get free tests for the hepatitis B and C virus, Mongolian Health Minister Davaajantsan Sarangerel said at the opening ceremony of the event.
During the event, cancer specialists from the National Cancer Center of Mongolia offered free medical check-ups to 2,000 people, and provided information about cirrhosis and liver cancer caused by hepatitis B and C to enhance people's awareness of hepatitis infections and help early detections of infections or cancer.
World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28 every year with an aim to raise awareness of viral hepatitis.