The first World Hepatitis Summit will be held at the SECC on 2-4 September. The three-day gathering is a World Hepatitis Alliance and World Health Organisation event, hosted by the Scottish Government and supported by Health Protection Scotland and Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU). It will be attended by patient groups, Government Ministers and policy-makers and public health experts from around the world. The focus of this inaugural meeting is on Hepatitis B and C infections.
World Hepatitis Day, which raises awareness of viral hepatitis, took place on 28th July. The disease is one of the top 10 causes of global death, costing 1.4 million lives every year. There are more than 400 million people chronically infected with hepatitis B and C worldwide.
First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “Scotland is committed to eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health concern, and the Scottish Government will do what it can to support global efforts to achieve this goal.
“World Hepatitis Day raises awareness of the disease and encourages better access to treatment. We need governments across the world to come together to work to ensure effective prevention and treatment strategies are in place. That is why Scotland will be hosting the first World Hepatitis Summit in Glasgow this September.”
Charles Gore, President of the World Hepatitis Alliance said: “The seventh leading cause of death in the world, the global burden of viral hepatitis is staggering. Advocacy is going to be critical to ensure that we have the resources, both human and financial, to tackle this epidemic. It is therefore crucial that the voice of hepatitis patients is at the forefront of any effective national response and the Summit is a unique opportunity to make this happen.”
Glasgow Caledonian University’s Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health, Sharon Hutchison said: “Glasgow Caledonian University is an international university with a distinct over-arching commitment to the Common Good, working collaboratively to deliver social benefit to the communities we serve. In association with Health Protection Scotland, we have led a broad programme of research on the burden of hepatitis C and interventions to prevent infection and associated disease, which provided the key evidence for the Scottish Government’s Hepatitis C Action Plan.
“As a university that is ranked in the top 20 in the UK for health research at world-leading and internationally excellent standards, we are delighted to be involved in the forthcoming inaugural World Hepatitis Summit to help promote the development of hepatitis action plans in other countries and address the overwhelming global burden of viral hepatitis.”