CanHepC supports World Hepatitis Day 2020

Raising awareness on the burden of viral hepatitis worldwide, the World Hepatitis Day campaign on July 28, 2020 reminds us of the global commitments made to eliminate viral hepatitis by 2030. 

It was in 2016 that Canada endorsed the World Health Organization's Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis with targets to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. If recent data is showing Canada could be on track to reach hepatitis C elimination targets, staying on course will require an ongoing focus on comprehensive and accessible hepatitis C prevention, testing and treatment for the priority groups in our community that are most disproportionately affected by hepatitis C. The COVID-19 pandemic has deeply disturbed access to healthcare services including prevention programs and hepatitis C screening and testing services leaving members of these groups more vulnerable than ever.

If the COVID-19 pandemic has hampered our progress towards hepatitis C elimination efforts, on the other hand, it has increased public awareness to viruses and demonstrated that a rapid response to viral threats is possible when public health instance work together. Moving forward, we can build on the lessons learned from this pandemic and the structures created in rapid testing applying them to the hepatitis C context as we continue to strive towards elimination.

This year CanHepC trainees have prepared an open letter published in the Montreal Gazette urging governments to address the intersectional issues faced by priority populations affected by hepatitis C in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Please feel free to share within your networks.

CanHepC has also signed the NoHep open letter asking governments worldwide to keep their promise to eliminate viral hepatitis. We encourage all our members and trainees to join the campaign. Please share!