Our Solution and Unique Approach
The Hepatitis Fund’s catalytic funding is the spark that sets a historic effort in motion.
Numerous barriers prevent countries from properly addressing the viral hepatitis epidemic, and that’s where we come in. Our activities increase awareness of the problem and speed up prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, enabling our partners to overcome those barriers.
We support sustainable strategic plans at the national and sub-national levels to guide effective programme implementation. We show how countries can optimise their human and financial resources within health budgets; by increasing the availability of country-specific data that inform where and how to intervene most efficiently and effectively; and by building health system capacity to deliver quality hepatitis prevention and treatment services.
Increasing awareness is a crucial first step. Most people, including many policymakers, don’t understand the severity of a worldwide epidemic that kills more than 1 million people annually and causes severe liver disease in many more. Incredibly, only 1 in 10 people infected with viral hepatitis are aware they have it. Equally important, it’s not widely known that measures exist now to prevent and treat hepatitis.
Preventing new infections is also critical. A safe, effective vaccine that offers 98% to 100% protection against hepatitis B is available. The vaccine is highly cost-effective, although it is not routinely administered as recommended, especially to newborns. Transmission of viral hepatitis can also be prevented through better infection control, improved blood safety practices, and safer and appropriate use of injections, including providing harm reduction services.
Identification and treatment of infected persons are essential for saving their lives from severe liver disease and for preventing transmission to others. It is a tragedy that effective and increasingly affordable testing and treatment services, including newer curative therapies for hepatitis C, are not available to all populations — and not just because of a lack of awareness.