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The World Health Organization ‘Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis 2016–2021’ aimed at the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat provides a significant opportunity to increase efforts for tackling the epidemics of hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infections across Europe. To support the implementation and monitoring of this strategy, core epidemiological and programmatic indicators have been proposed necessitating specific surveys, the systematic collection of programmatic data and the establishment of monitoring across the care pathway. European Union and European Economic Area countries already made progress in recent years implementing primary and secondary prevention measures. Indeed, harm reduction measures among people who inject drugs reach many of those who need them and most countries have a universal hepatitis B vaccination programme with high coverage above 95%. However, while a further scaling up of prevention interventions will impact on incidence of new infections, treating those already infected is necessary to achieve reductions in mortality. The epidemiological, demographic and socio-political situation in Europe is complex, and considerable diversity in the programmatic responses to the hepatitis epidemic exists. Comprehension of such issues alongside collaboration between key organisations and countries will underpin any chance of successfully eliminating hepatitis.


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