The recent European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) monothematic conference in Berlin was entitled “Striving towards the elimination of HCV infection”, a key topic in the field of liver disease and hepatitis since the publication of the WHO goals to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by the year 2030.
It’s already 2018 and the latest published estimates show that globally:
- 71 million people live with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection
- Over 34 million deaths were caused in 2015 due to viral hepatitis
- 75 million new HCV infections occurred worldwide in that same year
(Global Hepatitis Report 2017)
What does that mean? Well, simply put, that we need to bring all our attention to bear on facing this disease and strive for elimination in full force.
However, these conversations cannot continue to occur only in high-level conferences, government ministry of health decision panels, and research meetings. Engagement beyond the bubble is the only thing that will expand the conversation and, in turn, the many possible solutions.
We can take the EASL monothematic conference (henceforth #EASLmono) as an example. The meeting was relatively small, as these conferences go, with 275 attendees from 35 countries. In contrast, the annual EASL International Liver Congress (ILC) this coming April can likely expect over 10,000 participants. But it’s good to start small.