Webcast - Viral hepatitis elimination

This latest episode of EASL’s webcast series on COVID-19 and the liver examines the impact of the pandemic on European efforts to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. Professor Antonio Craxi is joined by Professor Mark Thursz, Professor Jeffrey Lazarus, Dr Loreta Kondili and Sarah Blach for this important topic. Professor Thursz opens the webcast by updating on the HCV cascade of care in Europe and the barriers to treatment faced by people living with HCV. Dr Kondili then focuses on the barriers to HCV screening at different healthcare levels before Sarah Blach describes her work in modelling the impact of COVID-19 on HCV elimination. Professor Lazarus then analyses how the experience gained by clinicians and policymakers in the COVID-19 pandemic can be harnessed to promote HCV elimination. In the closing discussion, the panel discusses the potential for linking HCV testing to the COVID-19 vaccination programme, how the rate of new HCV infections has changed during the pandemic, and how HCV elimination will interact with other healthcare priorities as the pandemic ends.

 

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the cascade of care in Europe and what are the barriers to treatment for patient with HCV
  • Learn more about HCV screening
  • Understand the impact of COVID-19 on HCV elimination programme
  • Learn how experience gained during the COVID-19 pandemic can be used to promote HCV elimination

 

Target audience:

  • Hepatologists
  • General practitioners
  • Health care professionals
  • Clinical researchers and scientists

If you wish to obtain a certificate of completion for this webcast, please click here.

 

Biographies

Antonio Craxi

Antonio Craxì is Professor of Gastroenterology and Internal Medicine at the University of Palermo, Italy. He is also member of several professional societies including the European, International, and American Associations for the Study of Liver Disease. Prof Craxì’s main research interests include hepatitis C and B, antiviral therapy, NAFLD, hepatocellular carcinoma, iron overload states, autoimmune liver diseases and inflammatory bowel diseases.

Mark Thursz

Mark Thursz is Professor of hepatology in the Division of Digestive Diseases, Head of the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction in the Faculty of Medicine at Imperial College London and a clinical hepatologist at St Mary’s Hospital, London, UK. He is Director of the Imperial College Biomedical Research Centre and Trust Research Director for Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust. Professor Thursz launched the Prevention of Liver Fibrosis and Cancer in Africa (PROLIFCA) programme in 2011 to address barriers to control and elimination of viral hepatitis in resource-limited countries. His research now focuses on exploring novel biomarkers for diagnosis, prognosis and risk of infection in alcohol-related liver disease.

Loreta Kondili

Loreta Kondili is Professor of medicine at the University of Tirana, Albania, a researcher at the Center for Global Health, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy and a specialist in gastroenterology and digestive endoscopy. Professor Kondili’s research focuses on epidemiological, clinical and virological studies of different populations with viral hepatitis infections, as well as diagnosis and the effectiveness of antiviral treatments. She is currently Principal Investigator of the Italian Platform for the Study of Viral Hepatitis Therapies (PITER) and an expert on the implementation of the HCV Screening Law Decree at the Italian Ministry of Health.

Sarah Blach

Sarah Blach is the Hepatitis C (HCV) Team Lead and an epidemiologist at the Center for Disease Analysis Foundation. Her team has analyzed and published the hepatitis epidemiology in over 100 countries and has worked with individual countries to develop national hepatitis strategies. She also leads the HCV team for the Polaris Observatory, which provides up-to-date estimates for HCV, HBV and HDV disease burden and tracks the impact of strategies to meet national targets.

Jeffrey Lazarus

Jeffrey Lazarus is Head of the health systems team at the Barcelona Institute for Global Health and Associate Professor in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Barcelona, Spain. He is Vice-chair of the board of the European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) International Liver Foundation, a member of the EASL Policy and Public Health Committee and part of the Danish, Spanish and European hepatitis elimination coalitions. Professor Lazarus is also working group Chair of the EASL-Lancet European Liver Health Commission as well as co-author of the Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology Commission on Viral Hepatitis in 2019.

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