Mothers and babies can’t wait: A call for action to end mother-to-child transmission of hepatitis B

White Paper

As the World Health Organization (WHO) works toward its goal to eliminate hepatitis B by 2030, the quest to halt hepatitis B mother-to-child transmission has never been more urgent.

Many of the key issues brought into focus over recent years have combined to delay progress of the 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.

If we are to reach the 2030 hepatitis B elimination goals, we must address the systemic barriers to PMTCT around the world. Caring for women means providing antenatal care, sexual and reproductive health promotion, and access to essential and lifesaving care. Providing this to mothers, their new-borns and their children is vital for ensuring that hepatitis B is adequately addressed.

The triple elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, syphilis and hepatitis B is an effort by WHO to encourage integrated care, and a commitment from countries to address all three diseases. As a global community, it is an opportunity for us to work together, strategically and cooperatively, to alter the lives of poor and underserved women and children within our global society.

Today, 26 July, we haved launched our white paper, outlining the context and human impact of mother-to-child transmission. The white paper 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.

Webinar

Mothers & babies can’t wait – fighting mother-to-child transmission.

WHA was joined by experts & individuals who personally know the impact hepatitis can have on mothers & families.

Chair: Dr Su Wang, Medical Director, Center for Asian Health & Viral Hepatitis Programs at Cooperman Barnabas Medical Center, Past-President World Hepatitis Alliance

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

This discussion launched the white paper on PMTCT which outlines the human impact of mother-to-child transmission and includes policy recommendations.

This report was supported by Kedrion Biopharma, with an unrestricted educational grant.