Blueprint to Inform a Hepatitis C Elimination Strategy in Canada

Our commitment

At the last Canadian Symposium on Hepatitis C Virus in Toronto in February 2018, CanHepC announced their commitment to lead a joint effort reuniting expertise within its Network to develop a consensus Blueprint that reflects cross-sector priorities, recommendations and perspectives to inform hepatitis C elimination efforts in Canada.

Rationale

With the arrival of highly effective Direct Acting Antivirals (DAAs) with a 95% cure rate, simpler hepatitis C diagnostic tests as well as proven prevention strategies such as needle and syringe exchange and opiate substitution programs, the elimination of the hepatitis C is more than ever within reach.

Moreover, in May 2016, Canada adopted the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis (GHSS) calling for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a major public health threat by 2030 with targets for 2020 and 2030 aiming to significantly reduce the number of people living with hepatitis C and decrease hepatitis-related deaths.

Just recently the Public Health Agency of Canada launched its Pan-Canadian Framework for Action to reduce the health impact of Sexually Transmitted and Blood-Borne Infections (STBBIs) adopting an integrated approach to address the high degree of intersectionality between different STBBIs with recommendations to help inform the collective actions required to reduce their health impact aligning the WHO’s GHSS targets.

Scope of the Blueprint 

The hepatitis C virus has some unique aspects that will require targeted action to make elimination possible. Achieving the GHSS elimination targets on viral hepatitis C by 2030 will require a comprehensive, coordinated plan. In concerted action with cross-Canadian hepatitis C stakeholders, CanHepC is in a good position to help inform and shape hepatitis C elimination efforts and has thus committed to lead the development of a consensus document that will take the form of a of a Blueprint to Inform a Hepatitis C Elimination Strategy in Canada.

The scope of this document is to provide guidance on how to address hepatitis C with specific and measurable objectives and actions that are relevant to the Canadian context which policy makers, provincial and territorial governments can adapt to their own specific context – i.e. the what, but not the how. Using a combined approach, the Blueprint will be designed to complement the Pan-Canadian STBBIs Framework for Action while aligning what is needed to achieve the GHSS hepatitis C elimination targets by 2030 in Canada.