About the World Hepatitis Summit
The community voice in viral hepatitis is new and needs strengthening. The Summit is designed to fill a gap in an area that has traditionally been saturated by scientific and medical conferences but has lacked a platform for civil society and government to come together for the benefit of hepatitis patients.
In bringing these two audiences together the Summit supports an important clause of WHO Resolution WHA67.6, which urges Member States to promote the involvement of civil society in all aspects of preventing, diagnosing and treating viral hepatitis.
The Summit therefore provides an ideal opportunity to engage the community and to use global media to keep the spotlight firmly on hepatitis. It also functions as a forum for discussions on how to effectively advance public health responses to the disease.
Worldwide, viral hepatitis kills approximately 1.34 million people a year and more than 300 million people are chronically infected with hepatitis B or C. Yet, until very recently, there had been a remarkable lack of global action to combat the disease.
In May 2016 an historic commitment to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030 was made by 194 Member States. At the 69th World Health Assembly, governments unanimously voted to adopt the first ever Global Viral Hepatitis Strategy, signalling the greatest global commitment in viral hepatitis to date. Although the adoption of the strategy demonstrates considerable political will, more work will be needed to make the elimination of viral hepatitis a reality. As of February 2016, only 36 countries had viral hepatitis national plans in place and 33 had plans in development. That means that a dramatic scale up in resources and prioritisation is vital.The Summit supports this effort by providing a platform that allows Member States to learn from other countries, have access to technical advice from the staff of WHO’s Global Hepatitis Programme as well as discuss the implementation of an intensified national response to the disease with key stakeholders in the field.
The World Hepatitis Summit is a public policy three day event bringing together a global audience of civil society groups, WHO and its Member States, patient organisations from the World Hepatitis Alliance’s 249 organisational members, policy-makers, public health scientists and funders. It aims:
1. To increase the number of countries developing practicable viral hepatitis action plans by making use of the latest public health research and technical support from WHO.
2. To improve the implementation of existing viral hepatitis action plans through the sharing of best practice.
3. To support clause 1.3 of WHO’s Resolution WHA67.6 which urges Member States to “promote the involvement of civil society in all aspects of preventing, diagnosing and treating viral hepatitis”.
4. To discuss funding mechanisms for medicines and/or diagnostics through engagement of key stakeholders.
5. To raise the profile of viral hepatitis by engagement of international top-tier media.
6. To encourage and direct public health research to where it is needed by engaging key global funders.