From November 1-3 the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the Brazilian Government hosted a Hepatitis Summit in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The aim of the summit was to encourage more countries to take action against viral hepatitis, a disease which still causes more than 1.3 million deaths every year and affects more than 325 million people.
New Zealand is one of the 194 countries around the world working towards the global target of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.
Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand CEO Susan Hay and Board of Trustees Chair Prof Chris Cunningham attended the World Hepatitis Summit in Brazil.
Ms Hay says it was fantastic to see evidence of countries around the world working towards the viral hepatitis global elimination target. “Highly-effective direct-acting antiviral medications are now providing a cure for many people living with hepatitis C, and effective hepatitis B vaccination programmes along with medications which help manage the virus have kick started the fight against viral hepatitis.”
Close to 3 million people have already received access to hepatitis C medications according to the World Health Organisation.
Prof Chris Cunningham was invited to facilitate two 90-minute workshops at the World Hepatitis Summit. Together with colleagues Janet Hatcher-Roberys and Dr Antons Mozalevskis, they presented a workshop which focused on applying an equity lens to hepatitis services including screening, immunisation, treatment and surveillance.
Prof Cunningham says with the help of its extraordinary representation across the hepatitis spectrum, the World Hepatitis Alliance has now established the summit as one of the key meetings in the hepatitis world.
© The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand 2016