BEIJING, July 28 (Xinhua) -- A campaign providing free screening for hepatitis was initiated Tuesday in 126 cities and poor rural areas across China, organizers of the campaign said.
The campaign echoes the theme of this year's World Hepatitis Day, which reads "Finding the Missing Millions," said the organizers, which include medlinker.com, a Chinese online platform for chronic disease management, and China Liver Health, a non-profit organization promoting liver health.
"Hepatitis B and hepatitis C claim around 1.4 million lives every year. It is particularly necessary to massively screen for these diseases nationwide," said Liu Guizhang, a doctor participating in the campaign from Dongguan in south China's Guangdong Province.
The free screening service is available in 217 Chinese hospitals until Aug. 8, the organizers said.
One-third of the 240 million people living with chronic hepatitis B worldwide are in China, while 7.6 million Chinese are living with hepatitis C, statistics showed. This puts a huge burden on the Chinese society and families particularly when the patients' chronic conditions deteriorate to liver cirrhosis or hepatoma.
The World Hepatitis Day, which takes place every year on July 28 under the initiative of the World Health Organization, is an occasion bringing the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and to influence real change. Enditem