Universal Health Coverage: what it means for viral hepatitis

– written by Cary James, World Hepatitis Alliance CEO

On Monday 23rd September I attended the United Nations (UN) High Level Meeting on Universal Health Coverage (UHC) in New York to represent WHA members.

It was heartening to hear hepatitis mentioned in addresses from the President of Georgia and the Prime Minister of Bhutan at this prestigious event. I was also delighted to see that Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, has been awarded the Global Alliance for Vaccination and Immunisations (GAVI) Vaccine Hero award in recognition of Bangladesh’s outstanding success in vaccinating children against diseases, including hepatitis B.

These recent events indicate that hepatitis elimination is becoming more of a priority in countries around the world. It is thanks to the tireless work of WHA members and the global hepatitis community that hepatitis is increasingly prominent on the world stage. We now need to ensure that this is translated to the country level.

Recently, WHA advocated successfully for hepatitis to be included in the Political Declaration on UHC which was signed by world leaders at the High Level Meeting on Monday 23 September. This is the start of an increasing focus on UHC in the coming months and years, and it is vital that we keep hepatitis high on the UHC agenda.

To help you understand UHC, how it relates to hepatitis, and what you can do to help ensure this new commitment to hepatitis elimination is turned into action, we have put together a short briefing on UHC. I also hosted a live broadcast on UHC and hepatitis which you can catch up on here.

Cary James, CEO

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