Sharing Investments in Hepatitis Elimination and Pandemic Preparedness
The Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination (CGHE), a program of The Task Force for Global Health, has published a report establishing that many critical global needs for building resilient health systems to face pandemic threats can be met by expanded efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis. The report, titled “Building Resilient Health Systems: Sharing Investments in Hepatitis Elimination and Pandemic Preparedness” provides an overview of how investments in achieving hepatitis elimination and preparing for the next pandemic are mutually reinforcing.
As the 76th World Health Assembly convenes in Geneva, a major topic under consideration will be the draft “Pandemic preparedness and response accord,” a guiding document to help countries prepare for future outbreaks, particularly in light of lessons learned from the COVID-19 response. One important lesson was that countries with robust viral hepatitis elimination testing and treatment programs were better positioned to respond to the pandemic and saw reduced caseloads and mortality rates compared to geographic peers. Likewise, other countries experienced an expansion of health infrastructure like testing technology and telemedicine. Many countries are now well-positioned to expedite hepatitis elimination efforts while at the same time maintaining these systems to respond to new outbreaks.