Numerous European nations are in a poor position to prevent and control the spread of hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV), given their inadequate systems to monitor viral hepatitis and to assess the effectiveness of interventions. Researchers analyzed nations’ responses to questions on surveillance of the two epidemics provided in the World Health Organization (WHO) Global Hepatitis Survey, as well as to responses given by civil society groups in the Global Community Hepatitis Policy Survey.

The researchers presented their findings at the 50th International Liver Congress in Vienna, Austria.

Forty-four out of 53 of the WHO European Member States responded to the survey. Civil societies from 35 counties provided responses.

Ninety-eight percent of the countries said they conducted routine viral hepatitis surveillance, but just a respective 64 percent and 61 percent had national surveillance systems for HBV and HCV. In 34 percent of the countries, the civil society survey respondents disagreed with the answers the country officials gave with regards to surveillance.

Eighty percent of the nations reported having national registries for liver cancer cases, and 66 percent said they had such registries for HIV and HCV coinfection. Eighty-nine percent of the countries said they published hepatitis reports regularly, although 51 percent of the civil societies contradicted these claims.

Twenty-three percent of the nations said they would like assistance from WHO for viral hepatitis surveillance, while 34 percent would like help conducting an estimate of the national viral hepatitis burden, and 39 percent would like assistance developing national plans for viral hepatitis prevention and control.

To read the press release, click here.