Welsh Government committed to WHO target of eliminating hepatitis B and C
The Welsh Government has published a plan that would see hepatitis B and C eliminated as a threat in Wales.
The World Health Organisation’s has a target to eliminate hepatitis B and C by 2030 which the Welsh Government’s has also committed to.
In recent years 4,000 people have successfully been treated for hepatitis C but recent modelling estimates there are still around 8,000 people in Wales living with hepatitis C.
Hepatitis B screening is now included in antenatal screening programmes and hepatitis B vaccination is part of the routine childhood immunisation programme, which means that acute hepatitis B infection in Wales is now rare in children but remains a problem among unvaccinated adults.
Hepatitis B and C services were severely impacted by the pandemic and the Welsh Health Circular has today set out how the NHS will not only recover services to pre-pandemic levels, but reinvigorate the drive to eliminate hepatitis B and C as a public health threat.
The plan includes 13 key actions for health boards, Area Planning Boards and Public Health Wales to ensure frontline services are provided with the support needed to achieve elimination targets.
Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan said: “By identifying and treating people with hepatitis B and C, we can prevent the development of hepatitis-related liver disease and its complications, which have a significant and detrimental impact on people’s mental and physical health.”
Officials have established a Hepatitis B and C Elimination Programme Oversight Group, which includes a wide range of stakeholders to provide a renewed strategic focus on elimination.
Eluned Morgan added: “The actions have been developed by this group with a focus on identifying those who need testing and treatment, simplifying service delivery so testing and treatment is accessible to meet the needs of individuals and supporting people through the testing and treatment process.
“I am grateful for all the hard work that has gone into this area to date and look forward to continued support in our drive to eliminate hepatitis B and C as a public health threat.”
Support our Nation today
For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.