Manifesto – Hepatitis C Elimination in Europe

Manifesto – Hepatitis C Elimination in Europe

We, the signatories of this declaration, gathered in Brussels on the occasion of the first European Union HCV Policy Summit, on 17 February 2016, are committed to the elimination of hepatitis C in Europe.

  • Hepatitis C is a life-threatening disease; it affects millions of people across Europe and has a significant morbidity and premature death burden1;
  • Today, scientific breakthroughs give us the unique opportunity to eliminate hepatitis C in Europe, averting a significant toll in terms of deaths and societal and economic costs;
  • The specific challenges of hepatitis C require holistic, people-centred, health system-wide approaches to disease awareness, prevention and integrated care, with all stakeholders combining their diverse skills and resources in a unified response.

We share the vision that eliminating hepatitis C in Europe by 20302 will require us to:

1) Make hepatitis C and its elimination in Europe an explicit and adequately resourced public health priority, to be pursued using appropriate means at all levels – through collaboration between individual citizens, civil society organisations, researchers, the private sector, local and national governments, European Union institutions – including the Commission, ECDC, EMCDDA, the WHO Regional Office for Europe and other relevant regional bodies;

2) Ensure that patients, civil society groups and other relevant stakeholders are directly involved in developing and implementing hepatitis C elimination strategies, with existing best practice examples and guidelines serving as the basis for people-centred health system-based strategies that emphasise tailored implementation at the local level;

3) Make the development of integrated care pathways a core component of hepatitis C elimination strategies, taking into account the specific health system barriers and other challenges related to the management of hepatitis C infection;

4) Pay particular attention to the links between hepatitis C and social marginalisation, and for all hepatitis C elimination-related activities to be consistent with fundamental human rights principles including non-discrimination, equality, participation and the right to health;

5) Strengthen efforts to harmonise and improve the surveillance of hepatitis C across the European Union, to inform and evaluate hepatitis C elimination strategies;

6) Introduce a European Hepatitis Awareness Week (the week of World Hepatitis Day) to hold intensive, coordinated awareness-raising and educational activities across Europe;

7) Review progress on achieving the objectives and goals set out in this manifesto on a regular basis and promote the manifesto at all relevant opportunities.