Cirrhosis and liver cancer cause 15% of all deaths in Mongolia. Now the government is waking up to the issue – and tackling the hepatitis that triggers it
Danzan Purev beams as he shows members of a support group photos of his infant nephew on his iPhone. The 68-year-old geologist is charismatic and jokes with the others gathered in the room in Ulan Bator. But his mood changes as he begins to recount his long experience with hepatitis, a disease that has blighted his life.
Purev was diagnosed with hepatitis B and C in the early 1990s. By the end of the decade his health and quality of life had deteriorated, leaving him constantly sick and fatigued. He had to sell his business to finance a trip to Korea to undergo treatment, which was not successful. “Financially, I just went down,” he says.