Global Policy Report on Viral Hepatitis – ELPA – European Liver Patients Association

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2010-04-29 13:25

The World Hepatitis Alliance, in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO), has published a comprehensive report: ‘Viral Hepatitis: Global Policy’.

This unprecedented report captures the extent of viral hepatitis policies around the world and shows that, while effective policy exists in some countries, there is substantial variation and in many countries it is not in place or requires significant strengthening. Why not check if your government responded to the survey and see how the responses compare?

The World Hepatitis Alliance was commissioned by the WHO to conduct this research throughout all 193 member states, examining existing policies as well as areas in which the WHO might assist.  The report collates information from 135 countries and highlights a global need to tackle viral hepatitis with a more unified approach. 

The research demonstrates international consensus on the need for this coordinated action. It shows that four out of five countries want to tackle viral hepatitis as a public health priority but need more guidance and support to do so effectively. 90% of governments report at least one area of health policy in which WHO assistance would further strengthen efforts to prevent and control viral hepatitis.

Key findings show that:

– 80% of responding countries regard hepatitis B and / or C as an urgent public health issue and two thirds would like assistance in developing goals for hepatitis prevention and control; – While 82% of countries report having hepatitis B and / or C surveillance measures in place, one-third of countries report that they have no prevalence data available and more than two-thirds request assistance to improve their surveillance measures; – Just 41% of all governments report having funded any public awareness campaign around hepatitis B and / or hepatitis C in the past five years; – Only two in five people live in countries where testing is accessible to more than half of the population and only 4% of low income countries report that testing is accessible.  Furthermore, over half of the global population lives in countries with no provision for free testing;

– 41% of the global population lives in countries where no government funding exists for the treatment of hepatitis B or C, with four out of five low income countries and almost one in three high income countries welcoming assistance to increase access to treatment