Day: November 16, 2020

Data to inform elimination in Africa

Use of Data to Inform Planning and Financing Hepatitis Elimination in

DURATION   18 months
STARTING DATE   1st September 2020
PARTNER     Center for Disease  Analysis Foundation, Inc. CDAF



To increase domestic and international investments for hepatitis elimination in Africa by providing up-to-date data and analysis on HBV/HCV prevalence, burden, mortality, diagnosis rate and treatment rate by collaborating with country-stakeholders and show the potential impact of action and inaction in order to drive political-will and decision-making at
the national and regional (African continent) level.

The lack of data, conflicting data, underestimation of magnitude of hepatitis burden, the impact of action and no action, and fear of cost of elimination program prevent countries and international agencies from taking a stand on viral hepatitis elimination.

CDAF will use data and advanced decision support analytics to help policy makers understand the national burden, the value and cost of hepatitis elimination.


• Assess hepatitis B & C burden, morbidity and mortality in Africa.

• Provide analytical support to 10 African countries to assess hepatitis B & C burden and the corresponding economic impact if countries did nothing or if they eliminated HBV/HCV.

• The results will be used to update/build an HCV and HBV model for every country in Africa with available data. The remaining countries’ data will be extrapolated to estimate HBV/ HCV prevalence, cirrhosis, liver cancer, mortality, diagnosis rate and treatment rate for the African continent.

• An updated understanding of HBV and HCV burden in African countries accounting for most of the hepatitis burden.

• A national report that uses available data and modelling to outline the current HBV and HCV burden and the requirements to meet the WHO elimination targets in each of the 10 countries.

• An economic impact & financing analysis to show the cost of different financing strategies (self-funding, patient co-pay, catalytic funding, etc.) and investment cases for national hepatitis elimination programs that can be used in discussions with Ministries of Finance or development banks.

• Results will be published by Polaris Observatory

The project hopes to accelerate the financing of national elimination plans in Africa by providing data to support funding decisions. CDAF will quantify the burden of viral hepatitis for national governments, quantify the budget impact and the economic and societal impact of HBV/HCV elimination.

In addition, CDAF will share its approach, successes, challenges, and lessons learned among a global audience of viral hepatitis policy makers, advocates, investors, implementers and others.

Read about our other grants. 


Operational Guide for Action

Information for Action: Developing an Operational Guide to assist countries
in collecting monitoring and evaluation indicators for viral hepatitis.

DURATION   18 months
STARTING DATE    1st September 2020
GEOGRAPHIC REACH South East Asia and the Western Pacific regions
PARTNER     WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis, The Doherty Institute.


AIM                                                                                                                                                           The project aims to catalyze global viral hepatitis elimination efforts by developing an operational manual to guide national approaches to collecting, utilizing and analyzing strategic information for focused action in the WPRO and SEARO regions.

Although awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis is rising the mobilization of the viral hepatitis response has been slow, with far less investment at the regional and global level compared to other diseases with a similar public health burdens.

Few countries have established national action plans that provide solutions for affordable and appropriate care and treatment for people living with viral hepatitis. With limited international funding, many countries will not have the capacity to develop specific viral hepatitis strategic information infrastructure or data collection systems.

The WHO’s Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS) on Viral Hepatitis 2016-2021, identified information for focused action as a priority area for the viral hepatitis response, highlighting the importance of developing a strong strategic information system to understand viral hepatitis epidemics and focus the response. The GHSS recognizes that national and subnational data are often lacking or poorly collected.

Strengthening data systems such as disease surveillance and clinical reporting systems is essential to understand disease burden, monitor programme outcomes and track progress towards viral hepatitis elimination.

In addition, data sources and systems vary within and across different countries, making approaches to collecting and analyzing these data for reporting against WHO indicators complicated for many countries.

The project will develop, pilot and produce an operational guide for the in-country implementation of the WHO core indicators to monitor and evaluate the health sector response to hepatitis B and C.

The operational guide will be developed in partnership with the WHO Western Pacific Regional Office (WPRO) and WHO Regional Office in South-East Asia (SEARO) in conjunction with member states, with the objective of becoming a regional WHO guidance document for these regions.

The Operational Guide will be tested in 4 priority countries to ensure that the approach developed is appropriate, useful and able to be adapted to differences in hepatitis epidemic context and health system architecture, in order to achieve generalizable utility.

The in-country testing will include workshops with key stakeholders, epidemiologists and policy makers who will be evaluating the practical utility of the Operational Guide and associated training.

Countries will also be provided with hands-on support and further guidance to progress the collection and analysis of data to report against the WHO’s Core Indicators to monitor and evaluate the health sector response to hepatitis B and C. 

Feedback from workshop participants, country representatives, WHO staff, and other key stakeholders during the pilot testing will be incorporated back into the Operational Guide.

The development of the Operational Guide will provide countries with a practical handbook to report against WHO’s Core Indicators for viral hepatitis. It will enable countries to:

1. Assist in measuring progress towards elimination of viral hepatitis through improved understanding of epidemiology and the current status of national responses. 

2. Guide advocacy. Effectively utilizing data can create awareness to leverage much needed political will in countries, and across regions.

3. Assist in national planning, resource mobilization and allocation. Viral hepatitis responses must be strategically implemented and resourced according to local context. Strategic information can highlight priority populations, geographic disparities and gaps across the continuum of care, guiding decisions on focused action.

4. Monitor and evaluate programmes. It is critical to track implementation and outputs of programmes to ensure resources and investments are being correctly allocated and the programme is functioning as effectively as possible with the greatest impact achieved.

The Operational Guide model will be available for implementation for use in other countries and regions to assist government to monitor, evaluate, and inform the response to viral hepatitis B and C.

WPRO and SEARO will continue to use the Operational Guide in their strategic information activities supporting in-country efforts, demonstrating the strong catalytic nature of this work and sustainability of project-supported activities well beyond the funding period.

The Operational Guide will provide relevant MoH staff and other key stakeholders with a foundation for improved approaches to essential data source identification, collection and use. This will substantially reduces the reliance on external experts, WHO staff and repeated missions to each country.

Read about our other grants. 


Accelerating diagnosis in Vietnam

HepLINK: Accelerating HBV/HCV diagnosis and treatment through
community – based screening and linkage to care in Vietnam.

DURATION: 18 months
STARTING DATE: 1st September 2020
PARTNER: PATH, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Vietnam Administration of Medical Services (VAMS)


HepLINK Vietnam will demonstrate a cost-effective model of decentralized and integrated viral hepatitis service delivery—that effectively engages populations at risk of viral hepatitis in prevention, awareness raising, case detection and treatment—to improve viral hepatitis outcomes and provide evidence for scaling and financing interventions that are integral to the elimination of hepatitis C and B by 2030.

Viral hepatitis is the third cause of death in Vietnam. With more than 1 million HCV infections and more than 7 million HBV infections, and 22,900 annual deaths (3 deaths per hour) from HBV and 5,900 annual deaths (16 deaths per day from HCV).

The government of Vietnam developed the first national plan on viral hepatitis prevention and control for the period of 2015- 2019, and in 2016, released guidelines for the prevention, care, and treatment of HCV. These steps demonstrate Vietnam’s commitment to hepatitis elimination by 2030. However, significant improvements in awareness of, demand for, and delivery of chronic HBV and HCV diagnosis and treatment has so far been minimal.

Awareness of the disease and associated risk factors remains low in Vietnam, even among those most at risk: an HCV situational analysis conducted by PATH among men who have sex with men (MSM) and people who inject drugs (PWID) in 2018 found that more than 25% did not know that HCV was curable. Just 41% were aware of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs), a treatment option for people with HCV infection.

The most fundamental challenge to scaling anti-HCV screening, diagnosis, and treatment has been the legacy of expensive, toxic and poor efficacy of chronic HCV treatment in Vietnam. With limited treatment options, there has historically been less impetus among the MOH and donors to test and
explore ways to significantly increase case detection, treatment, and cure.

Chronic HBV treatment is also relatively neglected and much more needs to be done to train primary health care clinicians in HBV screening, treatment, and long-term management.

HepLINK Vietnam will demonstrate a cost-effective model of decentralized and integrated HBV and HCV service delivery to improve health outcomes and provide evidence for scaling and financing interventions that are integral to the elimination of hepatitis B and C by 2030.

The project’s strategic technical approaches include:

• Engaging those most affected by viral hepatitis in raising awareness, generating demand and providing anti-HCV screening services.

• Decentralization of viral hepatitis testing, diagnosis and treatment to the primary care level through engagement of general practitioners, and integration with HIV services, in the public and private sector.

• Ensure a supportive environment for those diagnosed with chronic HCV to successfully complete treatment and remain HCV-free; and those with chronic HBV to successfully stay on treatment.

• Generate and leverage strategic learning from HepLINK to facilitate resource mobilization and implementation of the national program toward ending viral hepatitis by 2030.

HepLINK will be implemented in the two biggest cities of the country: Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, representing the two regions (Northern, Southern regions) of Vietnam and the highest burden of chronic viral hepatitis infection.

HepLINK model will reach 30,000 at-risk individuals in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi with information about HBV and HCV risk-factors, treatment, and available services.

• Of these, 20,000 will have accessed anti-HCV testing and/or HBsAg testing. We estimate that 90% of those who are HCV antibody positive will be successfully linked to HCV diagnosis and treatment and that more than 80% of those who access treatment will achieve cure.

• Generate data to be used as strategic information for advocacy on the roll-out and domestic financing of innovative interventions and the know-how for scaling this up at the national level.

PATH intends to generate and leverage strategic learning from HepLINK to facilitate resource mobilization and implementation of the national program toward ending viral hepatitis by 2030. The project will provide empirical evidence on effective approaches and strategies that will support the government to update the national guidelines on viral hepatitis testing, diagnosis, and treatment and facilitate large-scale implementation of viral hepatitis interventions across the country.

In addition, PATH will share the HepLINK approach, successes, challenges, and lessons learned among a global audience of viral hepatitis policy makers, advocates, investors, implementers, and others.


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Decentralized care in Punjab

Decentralized care delivery and linkages for enhanced diagnosis and
treatment of Hepatitis C in six selected districts of Punjab

DURATION: 18 months
GEOGRAPHIC REACH: Punjab, Pakistan
STARTING DATE: 1st September 2020
PARTNER: Association for Social Development (ASD)



This project aims to develop, pilot and evaluate integrated hepatitis C care-package at 51 rural health centers (RHCs) in six high burden districts of Punjab. The project aims to achieve universal coverage of hepatitis C care in the entire region of Punjab by catalyzing evidence based scale-up in the remaining 30 districts of Punjab.

Punjab province has 36 districts and a population of around 110 million. The sero-prevalence of hepatitis C infection is exceptionally high at 8.9%. The project will pilot and evaluate integrated hepatitis C care at RHCs in the six highest-prevalence districts of Punjab. 12.5 million people live in these six districts, of which around 75% are living in rural areas. All 22 district and sub-district hospitals are in urban settings, so program-supported hepatitis care at these hospitals is relatively inaccessible to most rural inhabitants, especially women and disadvantaged groups. In these districts 51 RHCs are the main source of general health care for more than 9.5 million rural inhabitants.

The project will contextualize and evaluate an existing hospital based integrated and scalable intervention for delivering hepatitis C testing and treatment across all public primary care RHCs in six selected high-prevalence districts of Punjab, Pakistan.

A care package will be adapted for managing integrated hepatitis care at RHCs.

All 51 RHCs in the six selected districts will be enabled for delivering integrated hepatitis-C care in a region where 9.5 million people live.

At least 40,000 individuals will be screened with a rapid diagnostic test
10,000 of those reactive on rapid testing will receive PCR complementary testing at a designated laboratory.

4,000 confirmed cases will be registered and treated for hepatitis.

Treated cases will be re-tested after 12 weeks of completed treatment and 85% or more will be cured.

Process evaluation and costing studies will be conducted with data from the 51 project RHCs. Evidence of effectiveness and feasibility of the integrated care-package will be generated to inform the scaling-up of decentralized integrated care delivery package.

The results and the products will be shared with potential stakeholders within and outside Pakistan for potential application of the pilot model to other settings.

This intervention will achieve universal coverage of hepatitis C care in the whole of Punjab and possibly three other provinces within the country. The proposed project will not only develop a contextualized hepatitis care intervention but also generate evidence to inform program planning and decision-making for scaling hepatitis care in all RHCs of Punjab.

The continued engagement of the Punjab Hepatitis Control Program and the district health authorities will ensure that the intervention design remains sensitive to contextual realities and that the evidence is owned and used by the local public health authorities.

Read about our other grants. 


Crowdsourcing to Spur Hepatitis Policy

Expanding public engagement in HBV/HCV: Crowdsourcing to spur
hepatitis policy

DURATION  18 months
STARTING DATE   1st September 2020
PARTNER   London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, in collaboration with the World Hepatitis Alliance. (WHA)


The project aims to gather and promote the experience of people living with viral hepatitis. This has not been sufficiently highlighted to either policymakers or the general public, in contrast for example to HIV.

This innovative project aims to support the prioritization and effectiveness of the viral hepatitis response in selected countries with high burdens of viral hepatitis.

Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) contribute substantially to global morbidity and mortality. More than 325 million globally are affected by viral Hepatitis B and C, which is 10 times larger than the global HIV epidemic.

Every hour, over 150 people die of viral hepatitis related liver diseases, including liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (1). People in low and middle-income countries (LMICs) are most affected by the two viral hepatitis (2). Africa and Western Pacific Region bear more than 42% of the world’s deaths caused by hepatitis (3).

To address above challenges, public engagement is important for raising awareness of hepatitis, generating community-centered solutions, and informing messages to spur policy change. Nevertheless, the public voice is often ignored, and powerful human stories of viral hepatitis are missed.
Innovative strategies are needed to better engage the public, especially people living with or affected by chronic hepatitis in those regions with a high burden of hepatitis B and C. Crowdsourcing may provide an opportunity to help improve public participation and awareness.

Crowdsourcing shifts traditionally individual tasks to large groups often through challenge contests. By involving the public in multiple stages, such as on steering committees and creating submissions, challenge contests improve public ownership and may help design people-centered health services. 

The recipient will conduct a global crowdsourcing challenge contest to solicit stories of people affected by viral hepatitis and infographics describing the impact of HBV/HCV.

The project aims to address two key problems: low public awareness of viral hepatitis and lack of high-level strategies targeting viral hepatitis and its related diseases, especially during this unusual COVID-19 pandemic which may pose additional risks to the community.

The project has three phases:

• A global crowdsourcing challenge contest will be held to identify exceptional stories, images, videos and infographics; through engaging the general public, patients diagnosed with HBV/HCV and at-risk sub-groups, to solicit stories that portray reality of living with hepatitis and infographics that illustrate the local burden, gaps in hepatitis care delivery, and  economic impact.

• Analyzing solicited data to identify barriers to viral hepatitis prevention and care provision, and locally appropriate solutions; incorporating COVID-19 related themes;

• Multisectoral workshops will be held to celebrate excellent submissions, share problems and solutions, and spur actions.

At the end of the funding period, the project aims to increase community engagement via soliciting personal stories from people living with hepatitis.

The project will raise awareness of the limitations of access to diagnosis and treatment for people living with hepatitis and therefore stimulate interests of leaders in policy changes and/or in generating anti-hepatitis action plans in selected high-burden countries.

Through engaging key groups affected by hepatitis, working closely with local civil groups and policy makers, the project will catalyze local ownership of hepatitis programs and build capacity for advocacy at regional and national levels. The mentorship program will provide opportunities for further in-country discussions surrounding evidence-based policy changes.

1 WHO Regional Office for Africa. Hepatitis. 2019. https://
2 Schweitzer A, Horn J, Mikolajczyk RT, Krause G, Ott JJ. Estimations of worldwide prevalence of chronic
hepatitis B virus infection: a systematic review of data published between 1965 and 2013. Lancet (London,
England)2015; 386(10003): 1546-55.9.
Madhava V, Burgess C, Drucker E. Epidemiology of chronic hepatitis C virus infection in sub- Saharan Africa.
The Lancet Infectious diseases2002; 2(5): 293-302.
3 WHO Regional Office for Africa. Hepatitis. 2019. https://

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Monitoring and Evaluation

Development of a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework for the
Implementation of Elimination of Viral Hepatitis

PARTNER: Division of Infectious Diseases Columbia University in the City of New York.



The project has been designed to develop and implement a monitoring and evaluation framework, which specifically addresses issues and challenges unique to the implementation of action plans to eliminate viral hepatitis as a global health threat.

The WHO Health Sector Strategy indicators suggest that the goal of viral hepatitis elimination will be achieved if more than 7 million new hepatitis B and C infections are averted and related mortality is reduced to less than 500,000 deaths by 2030. In 2019, EndHep2030 issued a call for proposals in support of this global initiative to eliminate viral hepatitis. Projects were selected for their innovative approaches to inform evidence based policy formulation, to overcome systemic barriers, and to strengthen service delivery by scaling up proven interventions. EndHep2030 aims to accelerate planning and implementation at national and regional levels.

The Global Health Services Delivery programme at the Columbia University Division of Infectious Diseases was selected to design a M&E framework for The Hepatitis Fund’s grants programme and to provide training to the grant recipients.

EndHep2030’s contribution towards hepatitis elimination will be measured through a cohesive and consistent M&E approach that helps define and measure catalytic program inputs, outputs and outcomes.

The EndHep2030 M&E framework details the key components of EndHep2030’s strategic approach to assess catalytic impact and forms the foundation for EndHep2030’s monitoring and evaluation plan. The EndHep2030 M&E framework will be further enhanced through the input from grantees and be shared with the broader hepatitis community.

The pathway to catalytic impact includes assessing if achievement of targets would have been attained at the same time or scaled had the program not been implemented. Catalytic impact is expected to be multifold, sustained, and lasting.

The creation and application of a framework to monitor and evaluate the performance of the EndHep2030 portfolio will be critical to enable real-time learning and mitigate the impact of force majeure events (such as disruptions brought about by a global pandemic).

Lessons learned and knowledge accumulated can be valuable contributions to the global campaign to eliminate viral hepatitis in the foreseeable future.

The EndHep2030 M&E framework is a tool for systematically monitoring funded projects for catalytic impact, and at the same creating a community of learning and sharing for capacity building.

EndHep2030 will assess the overall contribution of this program strategy to eliminating viral hepatitis through cycles of funding in consultation with various stakeholders and field experts.

Monitoring and evaluation of EndHep2030 grants will be a critical part of explaining – if, how and why catalytic projects contributed to The Hepatitis Fund’s mission of eliminating viral hepatitis as a global health threat.

Read about our other grants. 


World Hepatitis Summit

Planning and development of the World Hepatitis Summit 2022

DURATION: 14 months
STARTING DATE: 1st September 2020.
COUNTRY: Global with focus on South-East Asia.
PARTNER: The World Hepatitis Alliance.



This grant will contribute to the development of the largest public health summit to drive action towards the elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030.

The summit will build the narrative for hepatitis elimination, will advance the knowledge on eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030 and will build all stakeholders capacity on hepatitis elimination.

The third World Hepatitis Summit (WHS) is to be held in Bangkok, Thailand in June 2022. It will be delivered as a hybrid event with both face-to-face and online components. The theme of WHS 2021 will be “Achieving the elimination of viral hepatitis within evolving health systems”.

The World Hepatitis Summit is a large-scale, global event to advance the viral hepatitis agenda and the only global hepatitis conference focused on public health.

The first WHS was held in Glasgow, Scotland in 2015. The summit bought together over 500 delegates from 84 countries and it truly signified a turning point in the response to viral hepatitis. The summit helped to build momentum ahead of the 2016 World Health Assembly, where for the first time in history 194 countries adopted the Global Health Sector Strategy (GHSS) which called for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.

The second WHS was held in Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2017 and again this was an important moment in the hepatitis response, coming a year after countries committed to elimination. The summit was truly a launchpad for action with 4 innovative platforms being launched, addressing topics such as financing and policy. It also resulted in the development and release of São Paulo Government Declaration on Viral Hepatitis and the corresponding São Paulo Community Declaration on Viral Hepatitis. The true impact of the summit is best evidenced in the feedback of delegates who were inspired to drive change in their countries by implementing the lessons learnt and new partnerships they developed.

2021 will see data across the cascade of care updated as countries report against the 2020 targets and is the final year of the Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis, 2016 –2021.

WHS 2021 will bring together a global audience of 1,000 delegates of civil society groups, WHO and its Member States, patient organisations, policymakers, public health leaders, medical professionals and funders to define how hepatitis elimination can be embedded in UHC programmes and across evolving health systems post COVID-19.

WHS will provide a platform for the communities disproportionally affected by viral hepatitis, such as people who inject drugs and indigenous peoples, to connect with decision makers and the wider global health community to drive action for hepatitis elimination.

The World Hepatitis Summit will support the global community to refocus on the hepatitis elimination efforts and clearly understand how these efforts can be positioned within the broader health agenda both nationally and globally.

The Summit aims:
To motivate governments, health systems and global agencies to increase resources for programmes for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of viral hepatitis.

To empower governments to accelerate their efforts to reach the 2030 targets of eliminating viral hepatitis by building the knowledge and technical skills of delegates and exploring how disease specific responses can fit within wider UHC efforts.

To establish the importance of patient-centred care, which is decentralized, integrated and embraces task-shifting, in shaping evolving health systems and the role of the hepatitis community in its achievement.

To generate a cross-sectorial response to achieving elimination, highlighting integration opportunities and pathways, by increasing innovation, collaboration and joint-working.

To recognise the achievements made to date, identify gaps in global, regional and national responses and explore opportunities for closing those gaps across the continuum of care, and specifically in regard to access to diagnostics and drugs.

WHS 2021 will give delegates the tools they need to better advocate at the national, regional and global level and will strengthen the collective voice of those demanding action. WHA is uniquely positioned to drive the meeting outcomes beyond WHS through their wider advocacy and capacity building programmes, further amplifying the impact of WHS2021.

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