As we enter 2021, we are now in the ‘decade of elimination’. Over the next ten years, countries need to accelerate efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. Yet, we know that most countries are not on track to reach the 2030 goals set out by the World Health Organization. The COVID-19 pandemic has also hampered progress. In 2021 it is clear that a concerted effort is needed to raise the voices of the communities affected by viral hepatitis and to advocate for more support for hepatitis programmes especially in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA) and our members will be at the forefront of the global advocacy movement, exploring every opportunity to increase support for hepatitis programmes and raise awareness of viral hepatitis. Our organisation enters the new year with added strength in our new president-elect, Danjuma Adda from Nigeria, who will work alongside me this year before taking over as president in 2022.
WHA will be busy this year, we will be continuing to call on global funders to join the fight against hepatitis to support low-and-middle-income countries to eliminate hepatitis. We will be looking to raise the voices of the communities and people affected by viral hepatitis, highlighting the human impact of hepatitis. There will also be a new capacity-building programme launched during this year which aims to work with members to support their advocacy work. In July, we will be raising awareness on World Hepatitis Day and we will be launching a new theme for the day soon. We are also aiming to host the third World Hepatitis Summit towards the end of 2021 where we hope to bring together the global hepatitis community.
There is much work to be done, and the strength of WHA is in our members. I know many of you face uncertain times, and we will be advocating at the highest levels for more support for your organisations.
Throughout my time with WHA I have been inspired by the determination and resilience of our members. Our collective strength and voices combined are an unstoppable force, and I look forward to working with you this year to make the elimination of hepatitis a reality.
Wishing you a happy new year,
Su Wang, MD MPH

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