Centre for Evaluation of Vaccination (CEV)
Preliminary data from patient groups raise concerns about responses to HBV and HCV in Europe
The data were obtained by surveying ELPA member groups, they suggest that some European countries are falling short in terms of the policies and practices that public health experts and the World Health Organization recommendas the basis for an effective response to the hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) epidemics.
The study has enrolled one ELPA member group or coalition of groups from each country to complete a comprehensive survey on key aspects of the response to HBV and HCV in their countries.
Survey topics include viral hepatitis policies, disease monitoring, prevention, testing and treatment.
The preliminary data indicate that only 14 of 23 countries represented in the initial analysis currently have national hepatitis strategies.
A viral hepatitis resolution approved by the World Health Assembly in 2014 called on all countries to develop and implement national strategies for preventing, diagnosing and treating viral hepatitis.
Additionally, there appear to be gaps in relation to harm reduction services for people who inject drugs, a population with high levels of chronic HBV infection and HCV infection in most European settings.
Needle and syringe programmes are proven to be a key viral hepatitis prevention tool.