Multi-country Viral Hepatitis COMmunity Screening, Vaccination, and Care (VH-COMSAVAC): Project outline
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Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore Italy
Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico Italy
Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) Spain
Hellenic Liver Patients Association "Prometheus" Greece Massimo Colombo Hospital San Raffaele Italy
University of Milan Italy
Publication date: 2023-04-26
Popul. Med. 2023;5(Supplement):A274
Chronic viral hepatitis infection caused by hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV) is a major public health challenge. In high-income countries, HBV and HCV infections are more prevalent among marginalized communities, such as migrants and refugees. The EU4Health program has funded Multi-country Viral Hepatitis COMmunity Screening, Vaccination, and Care (VH-COMSAVAC) to reduce the liver cancer burden caused by HBV and HCV infections in the European Union (EU). In line with "Europes Beating Cancer" plan, the project seeks to leverage established partner networks offering community-based HBV and HCV screening and appropriately link people to specialist care and vaccination. An economic assessment of the impact and value of these interventions on the liver cancer burden will be performed to inform future policies and guidelines. VH-COMSAVAC activities will take place in three EU member countries: Greece, Italy and Spain. The project employs effective and established community-based care models for hard-to-reach, marginalized populations, specifically migrants and refugees, to adapt and scale up early HBV and HCV screening using simple and innovative diagnostic tools, decentralized vaccination against HBV and linkage-to-care with hospitals specializing in the treatment of viral hepatitis. It is expected that migrant and marginalised populations included in the project will benefit by knowing their HBV and HCV status, being offered the first dose of the HBV vaccine _in situ_ if appropriate, and being provided with an expedited referral to specialist care for treatment initiation and management if needed. Process, outcome, and cost indicators will be collected. The results of the community-based screening program will provide evidence to inform guidelines for tailored, person-centred models of viral hepatitis care. The results obtained from the interventions will provide clinical and economic effectiveness data to contribute to developing a roadmap to reducing the liver cancer burden associated with HBV and HCV infections in the EU.
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