Publications & Reports

The case for simplifying and using absolute targets for viral hepatitis elimination goals

Polaris Observatory Collaborators (including Joseph Doyle)

Abstract

The 69th World Health Assembly endorsed the Global Health Sector Strategy for Viral Hepatitis, embracing a goal to eliminate hepatitis infection as a public health threat by 2030. This was followed by the World Health Organization’s (WHO) global targets for the care and management of hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections. These announcements and targets were important in raising aware-ness and calling for action; however, tracking countries’ progress towards these elimi-nation goals has provided insights to the limitations of these targets. The existing targets compare a country’s progress relative to its 2015 values, penalizing countries who started their programmes prior to 2015, countries with a young population, or countries with a low prevalence. We recommend that (1) WHO simplify the hepatitis elimination targets, (2) change to absolute targets and (3) allow countries to achieve these disease targets with their own service coverage initiatives that will have the maximum impact. The recommended targets are as follows: reduce HCV new chronic year-to-year decrease in new HCV- and HBV-related HCC cases. The objective of our recommendations is not to lower expectations or diminish the hepatitis elimination standards, but to provide clearer targets that recognize the past and current elimina-tion efforts by countries, help measure progress towards true elimination, and moti-vate other countries to follow suit.

Link to publisher’s web site

Publication

  • Journal: Journal of Viral Hepatitis
  • Published: 01/01/2021
  • Volume: 28
  • Issue: 1
  • Pagination: 12-19

Author