Today the European Liver Patients Association (ELPA) launched its Call to Action to tackle viral Hepatitis B and C and promote systematic screening amongst risk groups. ELPA’s Call coincides with the exchange of views on viral Hepatitis B and C in the European Parliament’s ENVI Committee this afternoon. The Call is endorsed by the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and has the support of leading MEPs Alojz Peterle (EPP, Slovenia), Dr. Thomas Ulmer (EPP, Germany), Nessa Childers (S&D, Ireland) and Marina Yannakoudakis (ECR, United Kingdom).
Most importantly, the signatories call for a Council Recommendation on viral hepatitis screening that acknowledges the high burden the disease places on health systems and puts in place measures to identify the large number of undiagnosed carriers.
Achim Kautz, ELPA Board Member says: “More than 25 million Europeans live with viral Hepatitis B and C, which are the main causes for liver cirrhosis and cancer. With every day that governments across Europe ignore this enormous burden, the problem increases and many people die, having frequently learnt of their disease only years after contracting it. We need action now and call on the EU to make the fight against viral Hepatitis a priority! ELPA has a lot of experience in educating health professionals and reaching out to those at risk, which we are eager to share.”
Professor Mark Thursz, EASL’s Secretary General adds: “As liver physicians we have the tools to reduce premature mortality from hepatitis B and hepatitis C infections. We now need public health support and policy recommendations to allow us to make a real impact on the disease burden in Europe”.
Click here for ELPA’s Call to Action.