DURATION 18 months
STARTING DATE May 5, 2021
GEOGRAPHIC REACH The Andean Region of South America including Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.
PARTNER Pan American Health Organization PAHO
The purpose of this project is to scale-up support to countries of the Andean sub-region working directly with Ministries of Health and financing components of National Responses.
South America has a population of 422 million people and is comprised of 13 countries. Between 2016 and 2018, The Pan American Health Organization PAHO, together with Ministries of Health, estimated there to be approximately 2 million people living with hepatitis B (HBV) and 2 million people living with hepatitis C (HCV) in South America. Approximately half of this burden is found in countries of the Andean sub-region. Geographically, the countries part of the Andean – are Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Venezuela and Chile.
While HBV immunization impact has been strong, efforts beyond immunization – diagnosis and treatment of HBV and HCV – remain insufficient to reach elimination. For example, in 2017 just 2500 people in this region were treated for HCV, around 0.3% of the total.
The project will:
- Increase demand for testing and treatment in affected populations across Andean countries.
- Develop intersectoral national hepatitis working groups and national plans (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia) engaging all key actors, including a testing strategy, integrated intonational health insurance systems.
- National assessment of hepatitis situation and response in South America.
- Support stakeholder consultation for national planning exchange (sub-regional activity).
- Increase demand for testing and treatment in affected populations across the Andean countries Investment cases for HBV and/or HCV in South America.
- Analysis of key barriers impeding screening and diagnosis and treatment among affected communities with special focus on indigenous population.
- More people including civil society and government will be aware of the need to test and treat for hepatitis.
- Development and alignment of National Hepatitis Action and Elimination Plans or region-specific Elimination Plans to include coordinated testing strategies, measurable treatment targets and integration into national health insurance systems.
- Produce key knowledge pieces as outcomes for this project (1) National assessment of hepatitis situation and response, investment cases for HBV and/or HCV and analysis of key barriers impeding screening and diagnosis and treatment among affected communities with special focus on indigenous population.
Because of this project, targeted countries will be able to develop, implement and bring to the national scale their efforts to screen, test, diagnose, treat and cure people living with viral hepatitis.
If this project is successful, the ministries of health from relevant countries will continue the advancements, with the support of health organisations. The project could also scale up in remote and rural settings in the Andean countries, particularly in indigenous communities, who are difficult to reach and may have a high burden of disease from hepatitis.