Highlights • Countries are making progress across all WHO regions in responding to viral hepatitis • Governments engaged with Civil Society are more advanced in their national planning efforts • Financing remains an issue with a minority of countries with a national plan having some dedicated funding • Stronger surveillance and monitoring systems are needed to direct hepatitis elimination plans
BackgroundHepatitis C affects over 185 million people around the world. This silent disease is responsible for up to 700,000 deaths per year. Despite the scientific revolution in diagnosis and treatment, hepatitis C control remains a huge challenge due to the cost of effective medications.In response to the global outcry of hepatitis epidemic and the need to improve the nation’s public health response, the Ministry of Health of Brazil revolutionized hepatitis C treatment by incorporating highly effective drugs that can be accessed through sustainable and universal means.DiscussionThis paper describes the unique process of implementing evidence-informed policy to respond to hepatitis C epidemic through the update of hepatitis C treatment in Brazil based on the estimate of disease prevalence, current international guidelines, and the cost-effectiveness impact in the Brazilian Unified Health System. Through a debate of an experience report, the authors underlie the strategic plan implemented according to the situation analysis that emphasized the need to improve its current response over a relatively short-term period. The comprehensive response is detailed comprising three main objectives: improve treatment outcomes by evaluating and incorporating new and effective medications at a sustainable price; elaborate on clinical guidelines to treat hepatitis C patients; and develop awareness and diagnosis campaigns targeted at the population of interest. In this scenario, Brazil was able to obtain an unprecedented discount for a high-medium income country; provided treatment to more than 7000 individuals in the last 2 months of 2015; and expects to treat 38,000 new patients in 2016.SummaryThe remarkable process applied in Brazil was developed according to epidemiological data and scientific evidence, and it was motivated by the engagement of the country in the Sustainable Development Goals, which may inspire other developing countries to identify ways to achieve these goals by 2030.
Viral hepatitis is a disease of great concern to public health that is now met by a favorable momentum to combat the global epidemic. This article is intended to highlight the importance of viral hepatitis in the Vietnam population as well in the group of people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA). We reviewed available data on epidemiology and response on hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV coinfection in Vietnam. The hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) prevalence in the general population ranged from 5.7% to 24.7%. The anti-HCV prevalence ranged from 0.38% to 4.3% in the general population, while among people who inject drugs (PWIDs) it ranged from 31% to 97.2%. The HBV prevalence among PLWHA is similar to the general population, while HCV/HIV coinfection is concentrated in some groups. Anti-HCV prevalence among HIV-infected PWIDs can be as high as 98.5%. Developing policies for diagnosis and treatment of chronic HBV and HCV infections are critical priorities in order to prevent clinical progression to cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Hepatitis C is considered one of the most neglected diseases in world. Worldwide about 150 million people are chronically infected by hepatitis C virus (HCV), and 60% to 70% of them will develop severe liver disease. This article describes Brazil's response to hepatitis C, from the first steps in 1993 to a national program in 2002. We reviewed the available literature, most of it in Brazilian Portuguese, and compiled them in order to share this experience with those seeking some pragmatic solutions. After 12 years, the national program has achieved universal coverage of treatment, resulting in saved lives and resources for the health system. There is abundant evidence that the HCV epidemic deserves attention. The overall consequence of long-term HCV infection is a negative impact on the health care economy. The Brazilian experience can be adapted to many countries in the world, in compliance with the 2010 World Health Organization World Health Assembly Resolution.
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