Letter from the Chief Medical Officer for Wales
Dr Frank Atherton pens letter to raise awareness of the advancement in curable treatment for early diagnoses of Hepatitis B (HBV) and Hepatitis C (HBC).
The WHO has announced a global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis which sets out to eliminate hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) as significant public health threats by 2030. The WHO target is a 90% reduction in incidence and 65% reduction in mortality due to hepatitis B & C by 2030. Wales is signed up to this strategy.
To date more than 1,000 patients have been treated in the last 18 months; including all patients known to services in Wales who are still accessing care.
Healthcare professionals working within primary care, prison healthcare settings, clinical hepatology, Public Health Wales and Substance Misuse services are being urged to support the WHO in achieving this target by:
1. Reducing and ultimately preventing ongoing transmission of HCV within Wales;
2. Identify individuals who are currently infected with HCV including those who have acquired HCV outside the UK and are now resident in Wales; and
3. Test and treat individuals currently infected with HCV who are actively engaged in behaviours likely to lead to further transmission.
It is paramount, this is promoted and enhanced across each of our substance misuse services and participating needle exchange outlets within Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan.