Comprehensive national strategies are urgently needed to manage the growing burden of disease

April 23, 2015, Vienna, Austria: Many countries in the World Health Organization (WHO) European Region are facing limitations in conducting chronic viral hepatitis disease surveillance, assessing the burden of disease and measuring the impact of interventions, according to results revealed today at The International Liver Congress™ 2015.

The study highlights that less than one-third (27%) of WHO European Member States have national strategies in place that contain a surveillance component. Furthermore, only 64% have a national surveillance system for chronic hepatitis B and 61% for chronic hepatitis C.

The study also reveals the main areas in which governments would like the WHO’s support:
• Development of national plans for viral hepatitis prevention and control (39%)
• Estimation of the national burden of viral hepatitis (34%)
• Surveillance (23%)

The results were obtained by analysing the responses to surveillance-related questions in the WHO Global Hepatitis Policy Survey. In total, 44 out of 53 (83%) of the WHO European Member States responded to the survey.

The study demonstrates a clear need for better disease surveillance and improvements in the development of national strategies to help prevent and control the spread of viral hepatitis in the WHO European region.

About The International Liver Congress™
This annual congress is the biggest event in the EASL calendar, attracting scientific and medical experts from around the world to learn about the latest in liver research. Specialists share research studies and findings, and discuss the hottest topics related to liver disease. This year, the congress is expected to attract approximately 10,000 delegates from all corners of the globe. 2015 is a very special year for EASL and the hepatology community as they will celebrate the 50th annual meeting. The International Liver Congress™ takes place from April 22-26, 2015, Vienna, Austria.

About EASL (
Since EASL’s foundation in 1966, this not-for-profit organisation has grown to over 4,000 members from more than 100 countries around the world. EASL is the leading liver association in Europe, it attracts the foremost hepatology experts and has an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.

For more information, please contact the ILC Press Office at:
• or
• +44 (0)20 3580 5444