The Forum's platform for Shaping the Future of Health and Healthcare is leading a new initiative to “Find the Missing Millions” with Hepatitis (Hepatitis B and C) and bringing partners together to eliminate viral Hepatitis. The developers and manufacturers of Hepatitis treatments, the WHO, and a number of our partners in the Hepatitis ecosystem have approached the Forum to share a set of common concerns when it comes to Hepatitis-infected individuals in the new world of COVID-19.
The consequences of the current COVID-19 crisis are affecting Hepatitis patients in more than one way. For starters, a number of testing programs have been halted to give priorities to COVID testing strategies. Untested Hepatitis carriers will also, unknowingly, contaminate more in their entourage. Second, hospitals submerged with patients may have interrupted courses of treatment. Third, the most vulnerable health systems have to divert their limited resources to address COVID first. Fourth, Hepatitis patients are also amongst the most vulnerable individuals when they get affected by the virus.
The world has to respond to the challenge. Treatment manufacturers and diagnostics companies, in partnership with governments, WHO, civil society, patient associations and large foundations have to come to the table to define this robust plan and to deliver innovative solutions.