Inclusion of hepatitis within PMTCT programmes and delivery of triple elimination
Mothers and babies can’t wait – A call for action to end mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B
Key issues have delayed the progress of prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of hepatitis B. Such issues include racial inequality, discrimination against women, and gross inequalities of healthcare access across the globe.
Our white paper outlines the context and human impact of mother-to-child transmission. It makes recommendations, which, when carried out in addition to established guidelines, will ensure that PMTCT services are equitable, accessible, and available to all who need them.
For World Hepatitis Day 2022, we were joined by experts and individuals who personally know the impact hepatitis can have on mothers &families. The webinar discussion launched our whitepaper on PMTCT, which outlines the human impact of mother-to-child transmission and includes policy recommendations.
The discussion was chaired by Dr Su Wang, Medical Director, Center for Asian Health & Viral Hepatitis Programs at Saint Barnabas Medical Center, Past-President World Hepatitis Alliance and we were joined by inspiring panelists:
- Dr Olufunmilayo Lesi, Viral Hepatitis Team Lead, Global HIV, Hepatitis and STIs Programmes World Health Organization
- Dr Giuseppe Indolfi, Professor of paediatrics, University of Florence
- Nafisa Yussf, Social Researcher and Project Manager at the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis, The Peter Doherty Institute
- Bisi Bright, Consultant Clinical Pharmacist, Lecturer and Public Health Manager; Vice Chairman and CEO of LiveWell Initiative
- Marinela Debu, President of the Romanian Liver Patients Association (APAH-RO), advocates for patients’ rights, and mother of two
An open letter to Gavi: hepatitis B birth dose vaccine can't wait
In December 2022, we came together with global health organisations to call on Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, to immediately start their hepatitis B birth dose programme.
Delay in the rollout of vaccination of the hepatitis B birth dose is leading to up to one million new infections in newborns per year of delay. This delay will likely result in the death of up to 25 per cent of those infected. This further adds to substantial costs to communities and health systems for treating liver cancer.
The current outcome goes against Gavi’s mission to “save lives and protect people’s health by increasing the equitable and sustainable use of vaccines”.
The open letter was published in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
Unite Summit 2022
Looking to the future: Moving from dual elimination of HIV and syphilis to triple elimination with hepatitis B and the role of parliamentarians
We were joined by inspirational partners and voices at the Unite Global Summit, including Hepatitis Australia, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Hepatitis B Foundation, Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination (CGHE), and Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, to discuss the move towards triple elimination of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B and the role of parliamentarians for strengthening health systems and enabling countries to deliver on global commitments.
With a shift from dual elimination to triple elimination, panelists discussed why hepatitis B has been left behind and the barriers and opportunities to scaling up the package of essential HBV interventions for PMTCT, including a timely birth dose vaccine and screening and treatment of pregnant persons.
There is an urgent need for a policy environment that enables integrated responses, funding for all three diseases and strong political will.
No child should start their life with the risk of acquiring a preventable infection. The elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis, and hepatitis B will not only prevent infections, but it will also save future generations.