New global network for hepatitis launched by the World Health Organization

A global network to tackle hepatitis was unveiled in Singapore on Friday by the World Health Organization. This initiative seeks to gather help from doctors, researchers and patient groups to fight the disease, which affects one in every 12 people.

In Singapore, about 2.7 per cent of the population has hepatitis B or C, which can lead to liver cancer.

Speaking at the launch of a liver diseases conference at Suntec City, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said while Singapore has had great success with childhood immunisation of this disease, the nation "cannot rest on its laurels".

"We will need to continue to innovate and find new ways to address our healthcare challenges," he said, adding that $3.7 billion has been earmarked for biomedical research in Singapore for the period of 2011 to 2015.