The need is great. The solutions, in hand. The time to end viral hepatitis is now.
The Hepatitis Fund’s catalytic funding is the spark that sets a historic effort in motion.
A number of barriers keep countries from properly addressing viral hepatitis. By funding highly effective activities that increase awareness of the problem, and speed (or catalyze) prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, The Hepatitis Fund helps partners to overcome those barriers.
Our catalytic funding speeds the elimination of viral hepatitis by supporting the development of sustainable strategic plans at the national and sub-national level to guide effective program implementation; by showing how countries can optimize 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 policy makers, don’t understand the severity of a world-wide epidemic that kills more than 1 million people annually and cause severe liver disease in many more – and this has happened for decades. 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 and 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 is 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 lack of awareness.
The number of
deaths (in millions) per year caused by Hepatitis B and C infections
|Barrier/Problem||The Hepatitis Fund
|Lack of awareness among population||
Awareness raising activities among general population, affected groups, and policy makers
National or regional hepatitis prevalence survey to document extent of burden of infection
Increased demand for hepatitis services
Increased knowledge among policy makers as to how to address eliminating hepatitis
Improved understanding of burden of infection leading to more targeted hepatitis services
|Lack of national hepatitis plans||Technical assistance and development of national hepatitis action plans and financing mechanisms to address identified costs||Suitably financed national plans that guide sustainable and efficient national action to achieve elimination goals|
|Lack of policies to guide intervention and implementation||Technical assistance and development of policy (e.g. hepatitis testing policy)||Policy documents to guide national implementation|
|Lack of knowledge on hepatitis among healthcare workers||Training and mentoring of healthcare workers||Trained health care workers delivering quality hepatitis services|
|Lack of knowledge on how best to deliver hepatitis services||Implementation science research to define best service delivery models||Proven service delivery models|
|Lack of experience in implementation of hepatitis interventions||‘Micro-elimination’ demonstration projects||Documented expertise in how to scale up hepatitis services|
|Lack of information on effect of program plans||Evaluations to assess outcomes and impact||Documented expertise in how to evaluate progress toward elimination goals|