GCU Professor calls on governments around the world to step up the fight to eliminate viral hepatitis

Wed, 01 Nov 2017 15:52:00 GMT
Professor Sharon Hutchinson
Professor Sharon Hutchinson

Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, Sharon Hutchinson, will call on governments around the world to step up the fight to eliminate viral hepatitis at this year's World Hepatitis Summit from November 1 to 3.

The World Health Organization (WHO) acknowledges viral hepatitis as a public health challenge comparable to other major diseases including HIV, tuberculosis and malaria. Worldwide, Viral Hepatitis kills approximately 1.34 million people per year and more than 300 million are chronically infected with hepatitis B or C. In Scotland, there are over 40,000 people chronically infected with viral hepatitis.

Professor Hutchinson, from Glasgow Caledonian University's School of Health and Life Sciences, will present to government leaders, civil society groups, and academics at the Summit in Sao Paolo, Brazil.

Together with the World Health Organization (WHO), she will provide evidence from 132 WHO member states, which relates to almost 90 per cent of the viral hepatitis infected population. Encouragingly, the results show a near five-fold increase in the number of countries developing national plans on viral hepatitis in the past five years.

However, Professor Hutchinson will warn that greater investment is needed from governments to achieve the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a major public health threat by 2030, as set out in the Global Health Sector Strategy on viral hepatitis.

She said: “It is encouraging to see the national and international response towards hepatitis gaining momentum. However, for hepatitis elimination to become a reality, countries will need to accelerate their efforts, and increase investment in programmes, to prevent, diagnose and treat viral hepatitis.”

This year’s World Hepatitis Summit is organised by WHO and the World Hepatitis Alliance, and hosted by the Government of Brazil.

World Hepatitis Summit; Global Health Sector Strategy; Professor Sharon Hutchison