Many European countries ill-prepared to prevent and control the spread of viral hepatitis
Many countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region are facing limitations in conducting chronic viral hepatitis disease surveillance, assessing the burden of disease and measuring the impact of interventions, according to results revealed today at The International Liver Congress 2015.
The study highlights that less than one-third (27%) of WHO European Member States have national strategies in place that contain a surveillance component. Furthermore, only 64% have a national surveillance system for chronic hepatitis B and 61% for chronic hepatitis C.
The study also reveals the main areas in which governments would like the WHO's support:
- Development of national plans for viral hepatitis prevention and control (39%)
- Estimation of the national burden of viral hepatitis (34%)
- Surveillance (23%)
The results were obtained by analysing the responses to surveillance-related questions in the WHO Global Hepatitis Policy Survey. In total, 44 out of 53 (83%) of the WHO European Member States responded to the survey.
The study demonstrates a clear need for better disease surveillance and improvements in the development of national strategies to help prevent and control the spread of viral hepatitis in the WHO European region.