Hepatitis C Elimination Manifesto to be launched in Brussels tomorrow

16 Feb 2016 Bridie Taylor

Tomorrow, George Kalamitsis, WHA Executive Board Member for the European Region and Charles Gore, WHA President, will join over 100 European and national policy makers, high-level government officials, experts in the field of hepatitis and key opinion leaders in Brussels for the first EU HCV Policy Summit to discuss the viability of hepatitis C elimination and to launch the first Hepatitis C Elimination Manifesto.

Hepatitis C is a life-threatening disease, affecting millions of people across Europe but recent treatment breakthroughs provide a unique opportunity for the elimination of hepatitis C in the region. To achieve this ambitious yet achievable goal, a unified response is needed with commitment and cooperation from all stakeholders.

World Hepatitis Alliance President Charles Gore will moderate a panel debate on the role of EU and national policies in support elimination and the meeting will conclude with the presentation of the HCV Elimination Manifesto.

Organised by the Hepatitis B&C Public Policy Association, the meeting will be used to launch the HCV Elimination Manifesto which outlines the steps needed to eliminate hepatitis C in Europe by 2030 and ensure commitment from EU and national policy makers. Specifically signatories of the Manifesto will pledge to:

  • Make hepatitis C and its elimination in Europe an explicit public health priority to be pursued at all levels
  • Ensure that patients, civil society groups and other relevant stakeholders are directly involved in developing and implementing hepatitis C elimination strategies
  • Pay particular attention to the links between hepatitis C and social marginalisation
  • Introduce a European Hepatitis Awareness Week during the week of World Hepatitis Day (28 July)

Ahead of the Summit, George Kalamitsis highlighted the importance of the meeting for the region, stating: “The elimination of hepatitis C in Europe is finally within our reach, but we need serious commitment for governments to achieve this. The EU HCV Policy Summit and HCV Elimination Manifesto are important steps in establishing national and regional strategies and ensuring patient advocates are directly involved.” 

You can follow the event live from 13:15 to 18:25 via webstreaming here. You can also join the debate on Twitter using the hashtag #EliminateHCV and following the organisers on @HepBCPPA.