Task Force for Global Health Launches Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination Aimed at Eliminating Hepatitis B and C
Decatur, GA., November 7, 2019 – The Task Force for Global Health (TFGH), an independent, nongovernmental organization focused on eliminating diseases and protecting populations, announced today that it has launched The Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination (CGHE). Modelled after other disease elimination initiatives managed by the TFGE, the CGHE aims to strengthen the capacity of national and subnational hepatitis elimination programs through advocacy, technical assistance, knowledge generation, and dissemination among partners united in a community of practice.
“The Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination was formed in response to a recent Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology Commission recommendation on accelerating the elimination of viral hepatitis,” said John M. Ward, MD., director of the Coalition and former Director of the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) Division of Viral Hepatitis (2005-2018). “Through partnerships with organizations committed to this cause, elimination of viral hepatitis B and C is attainable. We are excited about the prospect of working globally and locally to achieve our goals of elimination.”
About Viral Hepatitis
Hepatitis B and C are known as “silent killers.” Globally, 328 million people are infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) and millions of new infections occur annually. HBV and HCV cause 1.3 million deaths annually and are the leading cause of mortality from primary liver cancer - the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths globally. In the United States, more persons die of HCV than HIV, and the number of new HCV infections has tripled in recent years as a consequence of the opioid crisis and increases in injection drug use. If left unchecked, by 2040, deaths from HBV and HCV globally will exceed the number of deaths from HIV, TB, and malaria combined. With the availability of reliable tests, highly protective hepatitis B vaccines, effective hepatitis B medications, and curative HCV therapies in hand, the WHO established targets for HBV and HCV elimination in 2016—a 90% reduction in incidence and 65% reduction in mortality by 2030.
In July 2019, in conjunction with World Hepatitis Day 2019, the Coalition launched www.globalhep.org, an online resource for information about the Coalition, hepatitis elimination programs taking place all over the world, hepatitis prevalence data by country and a database of resources. Details about the Coalition, including a description of the underlying motivations and objectives of the Coalition, can also be found in a recent commentary in The Lancet Gastroenterology & Hepatology, published online on October 25, 2019.
Partner Launch Event
To commemorate the launch and bring together partners working towards global hepatitis elimination, the Coalition will host a Partner’s Kick-Off event at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Association for The Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD), in Boston, Massachusetts, on Thursday, November 7. Similar events will be held in the coming year, including a partner event at The International Liver Congress (ILC) 2020, taking place April 15-19, 2020, in London, United Kingdom.
Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination
The Task Force for Global Health
globalhep [at] taskforce.org ()
330 Ponce de Leon Ave
Decatur, GA 30030