A CALL TO GAVI
Hepatitis B birth dose can't wait
For close to two years, the hepatitis community has been advocating to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, about the delay of their vaccine investment strategy (VIS) programme and its impact on hepatitis B birth dose introduction.
Despite correspondences and open letters, no official response from Gavi has been received, nor a timeline regarding the return of the birth dose programme.
In Africa, only 30% of countries have introduced the birth dose vaccine and only 6% of newborns receive a hepatitis B vaccine at birth.
The lack of clarity from Gavi is causing delays and uncertainty, which is opening the door to new infections that will lead to avoidable deaths.
We’re coming together as a global community to demand that Gavi urgently accelerates the commitment they made to introduce the highly effective and cost saving HBV birth dose vaccine.
Thank you to the coalition of organisations from across global health who have come together to sign an open letter to Gavi in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
We need action and change now, how many more lives will be lost?
THE COALITION OF GLOBAL ORGANISATIONS INVOLVED ARE:
◗ CDA Foundation
◗ Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination
◗ Hepatitis Australia
◗ The Hepatitis Fund
◗ Hepatitis B Foundation
◗ Médecins Sans Frontières Access Campaign
◗ TREAT Asia – amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research
◗ Union for International Cancer Control
◗ World Hepatitis Alliance
INCLUSION OF HEPATITIS WITHIN PMTCT PROGRAMMES AND DELIVERY OF TRIPLE ELIMINATION
Approximately 9 in 10 infants who are exposed to hepatitis B develop chronic infection. This is completely avoidable – testing for hepatitis B is simple and quick, and a birth dose vaccine can prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and is available for only $0.20 US. And yet more than half of infants worldwide still do not have access to the hepatitis B birth dose vaccine and, in Africa, only about 17% of infants receive a timely birth dose vaccine. Many issues combine to impede progress in this area, including racial inequality, discrimination against women, and gross inequalities of healthcare access.
Check out our advocacy resources below which include:
- PMTCT white paper which 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.
- PMTCT webinar, we were joined by experts and individuals who personally know the impact hepatitis can have on mothers & families.
- Unite Global Summit 2022, 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.