No one should have to live with viral hepatitis without knowing. Yet, globally more than 290 million men, women and children do. Unless there is a massive scale-up in screening, diagnosis and linkage to care, more people will become infected and lives will continue to be lost.
The World Hepatitis Alliance’s (WHA) global campaign – Find the Missing Millions – is a three-year global awareness-raising and advocacy campaign aimed at tackling the main barriers to diagnosis by putting civil society organisations and the affected community at the heart of the solution.
What does the campaign do?
Recognising that there are many reasons why the global diagnosis rate is so low, the World Hepatitis Alliance commissioned a global survey in 2018 to understand the main barriers to hepatitis B and hepatitis C diagnosis globally. Building upon this data, WHA’s Find the Missing Million’s campaign will implement a global advocacy and awareness-raising campaign to tackle the main barriers to diagnosis as outlined below:[I]
- Lack of public knowledge of the disease
- Lack of knowledge of the disease amongst healthcare professionals
- Lack of easily accessible testing
- Stigma and discrimination
- The out-of-pocket costs to the patients
The Find the Missing Millions campaign will tackle the main barriers by leveraging the unique and critical role civil society organisations and the affected community play in scaling-up diagnosis. To support the campaign, the World Hepatitis Alliance will launch a white paper on the barriers to hepatitis diagnosis and will present key recommendations on the role the community can play in addressing them. The white paper will be launched on World Hepatitis Day.
How can you get involved?
Join us in the quest to find the missing millions by taking part in a range of activities.
- Take part in the World Hepatitis Day 2018 activities
- Share your story or experiences of diagnosis
- Educate colleagues about successful screening and testing initiatives
- Run national awareness-raising and advocacy campaigns to find the missing millions
- Send us a case study
- Send us your story
Achieving WHO’s elimination targets with the Find the Missing Millions campaign
In 2016, 194 governments committed to eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. In doing so, they have committed to diagnosing 90% of people living with viral hepatitis by 2030 and 30% of people by 2020. To date, only 11% of people living with viral hepatitis globally are aware of their condition.
Without a massive scale-up in education, testing and subsequent linkage to care, we will not achieve the elimination of viral hepatitis. Our Find the Missing Millions campaign will tackle some of the key barriers to diagnosis so that we can help diagnose 50 million people by 2020 and contribute towards progress on the 2030 elimination targets.
[i] World Hepatitis Alliance, Find the Missing Millions Global Survey, 2017