Find the Missing Millions
Find the missing millions
No one should have to live with viral hepatitis without knowing. Yet, globally more than 290 million people do. Unless we find these “missing millions” that have yet to be diagnosed and link them to care, all other efforts towards the elimination of viral hepatitis will only have marginal success.
We know significant barriers to diagnosis exist and we also know that elimination will not be achieved without putting the people affected by viral hepatitis at the heart of the solution. To help address this WHA developed a multi-year programme with the aim of helping countries find those “missing millions” and reach the diagnosis targets they committed to. The programme took a multifaceted and step wise approach to the issue to ensure that the problem was fully understood and efforts made to address it.
We undertook a global survey in 2018 to better understand the barriers to diagnosis and the context in which they are experienced. The survey targeted all key stakeholders, including, but not limited to, people living with viral hepatitis, policy makers, WHA members, civil society organisations and medical professionals.
In 2018 WHA launched the white paper ‘Overcoming the barriers to diagnosis of viral hepatitis: the role of civil society and the affected community in finding the missing millions’. It sets out a series of recommendations which highlight how civil society and the affected community can help to overcome the barriers to diagnosis and calls on policy makers to harness the voices of those affected by viral hepatitis and recognise them as vital partners in the elimination effort.
The Find the Missing Millions advocacy resource is a tool to help civil society and the affected community to meaningfully and effectively contribute to overcoming the barriers to diagnosis.
It builds on the recommendations in WHA’s white paper and gives civil society and the affected community practical advice and approaches they can apply to their advocacy activities.
Alongside this it also includes the latest information on the diagnostics landscape for viral hepatitis.
The Find the Missing Millions in-country advocacy programme supported WHA members to develop and implement effective action plans which advocate to overcome the barriers to diagnosis within their settings. WHA members received support from WHA and a small amount of seed funding to implement their advocacy strategy so that they were able to take meaningful action to help break the barriers to diagnosis in their country.
This programme was launched in June 2019 and was initially intended to run for 18 months, however; due to the Covid-19 pandemic the project timelines were extended to June 2021.