Delegates launch a call to action on hepatitis B and C

A call to action was launched at the Summit Conference on Hepatitis B and C in Mediterranean and Balkan Countries that took place on 5-7 December 2012 in Cyprus. The event united a range of stakeholders to urge the formulation and implementation of effective policies and targeted actions by national governments, healthcare providers and civil society in the fight against hepatitis B and C. 

The steering group of the conference, together with its partner associations, called on the countries of Mediterranean and Balkan regions to create national viral hepatitis strategies and action plans and, in particular, to:

  1. involve all sectors of society in the fight against hepatitis B and C;
  2. place the fight against hepatitis B and C within a right to health framework;
  3. actively participate in World Hepatitis Day;
  4. improve awareness of the health and economic impact of hepatitis B and C;
  5. strengthen surveillance of hepatitis B and C;
  6. build inter-country research capacities dedicated to hepatitis B and C;
  7. make prevention and control of hepatitis B and C a key part of public health action;
  8. invest in better case detection and treatment programmes in primary health care;
  9. develop outreach programmes to ensure more voluntary counselling and testing;
  10. explore innovative ways of reaching all vulnerable groups, including migrants;
  11. ensure universal access to treatment; and
  12. create community-based programmes to support people living with viral hepatitis.

WHO/Europe actively participated in the conference and contributed to its planning and implementation through its membership in the advisory board. WHO/Europe’s representative delivered a keynote address and an important presentation on national viral hepatitis control policies based of regional results from a global survey.