December 2012 was marked by an extremely important event in light of the fight against hepatitis which addressed the pressuring questions of prevention, diagnostics and treatment in the rather challenging in this respect Mediterranean and Balkan countries. Held on December 5-7, the Conference on Hepatitis B and C in Mediterranean and Balkan Countries laid the ground for precise discussions over existing and new data and promotion and management of new policy approaches to tackling the issue.
The Conference was congruent to the Resolution on Viral Hepatitis adopted at the 63rd World Health Assembly in May 2010, as well as to the actions of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Organized by Hepatitis B and C Public Policy Association and under the auspices of the Cyprus Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union, the Conference was truly great in scale and commitment for it gathered key EU-level officials, health associations and medical and high-level political representatives from a number of countries in region. The Conference in Cyprus aimed to reaffirm the need for the Call-to-Action which outlines six crucial measures to improve awareness, prevention and surveillance policies, enhance access to cost-effective technologies and therapies including counseling and to further expand the research pool for the hepatitis disease. The Call-to-Action is vigorously supported and promoted by the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), the European Liver Patients’ Association (ELPA) and the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA).
The Hepatitis B and C Public Policy Association is strongly determined to facilitate the implementation of targeted policies and programmes both at the national and international levels to effectively address the problems of patients with hepatitis. Among the other valuable initiatives of the organization are the 2010 Summit Conference on Hepatitis B and C in Brussels which enjoyed an independent supplementary in the Journal of Viral Hepatitis, a quarterly newsletter, high level meeting of policy experts in London in 2011 and close collaboration with the relevant EU institutions.