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Aiming at the global elimination of viral hepatitis: Challenges along the care continuum
journal contributionposted on 2020-08-12, 11:32 authored by Alastair Heffernan, Ella Barber, Nicola A Cook, Asmaa I Gomaa, Yolande X Harley, Christopher R Jones, Aaron G Lim, Zameer Mohamed, Shevanthi Nayagam, Gibril Ndow, Rajiv Shah, Mark W Sonderup, C Wendy Spearman, Imam Waked, Robert J Wilkinson, Simon D Taylor-Robinson
A recent international workshop, organized by the authors, analyzed the obstacles facing the ambitious goal of eliminating viral hepatitis globally. We identified several policy areas critical to reaching elimination targets. These include providing hepatitis B birth-dose vaccination to all infants within 24 hours of birth, preventing the transmission of blood-borne viruses through the expansion of national hemovigilance schemes, implementing the lessons learned from the HIV epidemic regarding safe medical practices to eliminate iatrogenic infection, adopting point-of-care testing to improve coverage of diagnosis, and providing free or affordable hepatitis C treatment to all. We introduce Egypt as a case study for rapid testing and treatment scale-up: this country offers valuable insights to policy makers internationally, not only regarding how hepatitis C interventions can be expeditiously scaled-up, but also as a guide for how to tackle the problems encountered with such ambitious testing and treatment programs.