Press Release: International partners call for a UN Group of Friends to support global hepatitis elimination
Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination joins U.N. representatives, Ministers of Health, and leaders from over 20 nations to support efforts to reach WHO goals of eliminating hepatitis worldwide by 2030
NEW YORK – Heads of state, ministers of health, civil society organizations and partners seeking global solidarity in the fight against viral hepatitis will gather on Sept 20 at the Bryant Park Grill at 10 a.m. in a side-event to the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly to call for the formation of a U.N. Group of Friends dedicated to eliminating the disease. The event is organized by the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination at The Task Force for Global Health, whose work with partners in more than 150 countries seeks to strengthen health systems and eliminate diseases such as viral hepatitis.
Despite the existence of affordable vaccines and treatment for viral hepatitis, it remains one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide, impacting more than 325 million people. In 2016, the World Health Organization set targets for elimination of Hepatitis B and C. While progress has been made towards achieving the WHO targets, there are major inequities in access to hepatitis vaccines and treatments in low- and middle-income countries.
At the event, Dr. Anthony Nsiah-Asare, Presidential Advisor on Health to the President of Ghana, is expected to call for the formation of a U.N. Group of Friends aimed at eliminating hepatitis. In Africa, where viral hepatitis rivals HIV and malaria as a health threat, over 90% of people living with the disease lack access to care. Four out of five newborns in Africa remain unvaccinated. By strengthening political commitment and sharing lessons learned, hepatitis elimination is within reach in Africa and globally.
President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana said, “Hepatitis is a serious public health threat in Ghana and throughout Africa, where we are seeing increases in deaths related to this disease. We are calling for the formation of a U.N. Group of Friends because global cooperation is essential to making progress against this threat. It is encouraging to see so many other countries joining us in this effort to increase hepatitis awareness, and to bring vaccination, testing, and treatment where it is critically needed.”
“A U.N. Group of Friends to Eliminate Hepatitis promotes health diplomacy among Member States accelerating progress toward the ultimate goal of disease elimination health equity and averting seven million deaths from hepatitis by the end of this decade,” said Dr. John Ward, director of the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination at The Task Force for Global Health, which organized the event.
About the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination
In July 2019, to catalyze progress toward achievement of the goals for viral hepatitis elimination globally, the Task Force for Global Health launched the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination. Modeled after other TFGH disease elimination programs, the CGHE provides services to assist the planning, implementation and evaluation of national and sub-national programs to eliminate hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) transmission and disease. For more information, visit www.globalhep.org.
About The Task Force for Global Health
The Task Force for Global Health, based in Atlanta and founded nearly 40 years ago to advance health equity, works with partners in more than 150 countries to eliminate diseases, ensure access to vaccines and essential medicines, and strengthen health systems to protect populations. For more information, visit www.taskforce.org.
Solidarity for Global Hepatitis Eliminations: A Call for a U.N. Group of Friends
Tuesday, September 20, 2022 at 10 a.m.- 2 p.m. EST
Bryant Park Grill, 25 W 40th St, New York, NY 10018
Speakers will include:
- Dr. John Ward, Director, Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination
- Dr. Harvey Alter, Nobel Laureate
- Dr. Meg Doherty, Director of the Department of Global HIV, Hepatitis and Sexually Transmitted Infections Programs, World Health Organization
- Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, Minister of Health, Egypt
- Dr. Akudo Ikpeazu, Ministry of Health, Nigeria
Media: for in-person attendance, please register by contacting mfambrough [at] taskforce.org
Link to Livestream the event here.
Task Force for Global Health
Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination
mfambrough [at] taskforce.com