Hepatitis B and C in Malaysia

Prevalence: Hepatitis B (HBV, B型肝炎) and Hepatitis C (HCV, C型肝炎) are highly prevalent in Malaysia and in Pahang. It is estimated there are about 250,000 adults who are HBV carrier (prevalence rate 1.5%; children are relatively free of HBV because of vaccination which was introduced since 1989) and another 400,000 people have been infected by HCV (prevalence rate 2%).

Health consequences: Untreated, both HBV and HCV will lead to chronic liver disease/cirrhosis (CLD, 肝硬化) and liver cancer (HCC, 肝癌). Each year in Malaysia, about 1500 people died of CLD. Globocan12 [1] estimated another 1750 people died of liver cancer, the 4th most common cause of cancer death in Malaysia after Lung, Breast and Colon.

Access to treatment: As a result of advances in medical sciences in the past decades, both HBV and HCV are now treatable; HCV in particular is curable with modern Direct Acting Anti-Viral (DAA) therapies Yet, in spite of being an upper middle income country, screening services for HBV and HCV in Malaysia remain under-developed, and access to modern anti-viral therapies is even more limited