The African Viral Hepatitis Advisory Group

About AVHAG

The African Viral Hepatitis Advisory Group (AVHAG), is a group of passionate community representatives/patient advocates, clinicians, policy makers and key opinion leaders committed to addressing the challenges of viral hepatitis elimination across Africa. Working within a coordinated approach our goal is to increase awareness, advocacy, research and to drive resource mobilization efforts for the continent.

THE NEED

The epidemic of viral hepatitis B and C affects 325 million people globally and is 10 times larger than the global HIV epidemic. Every day, more than 3600 people die of viral hepatitis-related liver disease, liver failure and liver cancer. In Africa, chronic viral hepatitis affects over 91 million Africans (82 million with hepatitis B and 9 million with hepatitis C). Around 70% of Hepatitis B infections worldwide occur in Africa. It can take decades after infection before an individual manifests symptoms. This is particularly worrying for the future as the region accounts for 70% of the global Hepatitis B cases found among children younger than 5 years; with 4.5 million African children infected. Currently, 33 countries in Africa have a Hepatitis B prevalence of more than 1% among children younger than 5 years. Hepatitis B infection is preventable and treatable, hepatitis C virus infection (HCV) is now curable. Globally, there are effective diagnostic tools and treatment, however over 90% of people living with hepatitis B and C in Africa do not have access to these and lack much needed care. Fewer than 1 in 10 people in Africa have access to care ,with no free health care and a majority of people living with little or no income the financial burden along with stigma causes much emotional distress. Over 200,000 people in Africa die every year as a result of no access to hepatitis diagnosis and or treatment; a high percentage under 30 years old. There is a high proportion of liver cancer, a direct consequence of untreated or undiagnosed hepatitis.

Hepatitis Statistics in Africa

Our Aims

The AVHAG, will, raise awareness of the underserved need within viral hepatitis with a view to drive political commitment and action by all governments, high net worth individuals and policy making bodies; instigating and harmonizing action on viral hepatitis elimination across Africa. A key driver is finding local solutions to the challenge of Viral Hepatitis elimination across the continent.

Advocacy

  • Raise awareness and the profile of viral hepatitis across Africa
  • Engage with governments, high net worth individuals and policy making bodies to secure resource and action to enable the acceleration of the elimination goals of viral hepatitis in Africa
  • Provide support to research initiatives and or clinical trials on HBV, HCV and HDV across Africa
  • Provide support to initiatives to drive local and domestic financing for viral hepatitis elimination in Africa

Governance

  • Patient and community representatives
  • Academia
  • Clinicians
  • WHO: Viral hepatitis focal person will be an automatic member: The group will decide on their role if they move on from the WHO regional office.
  • WHA: Regional board member will be a member: The group will decide to retain the individual or not, after their tenure elapses as WHA regional board member.
  • Africa CDC: Viral hepatitis focal lead

AVHAG Key Activities

  • The board will meet quarterly virtually to discuss viral hepatitis across Africa; challenges and opportunities for action. If funding is available, face to face in person meetings.
  • Chair and co-chair will rotate across regional blocks in Africa for a tenure of 2/3 years for a maximum of two terms
  • Virtual office, not a formally registered association, however, group might receive funds to support group meetings
  • Africa CDC: Viral hepatitis focal lead

OUR TEAM

Prospective members

Danjuma K. Adda (Chair)

Nigeria- West Africa / WHA/Global

Theobald

Ghana-West Africa / WHA/AFRO

Hailemicahel

Ethiopia-North-Africa / Clinician

Wendy Spearman

South-Africa Southern Africa / Academia

Manal

Egypt-North-Africa / Clinician (co-chair)

Casimir Manzengo

Central Africa / WHO/AFRO

Gamal

Egypt-North-Africa / WHA/EMRO

Gibril Ndow

Gambia / Clinician

Ibrahima Guye

Senegal-West Africa (French) / Community

OUR PARTNERS

Collaborating Partner organizations

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