WHO Mission on Viral Hepatitis and HIV to Kyrgyzstan

A mission to Kyrgyzstan took place at the end of April 2022 to review the national viral hepatitis and HIV elimination programmes. During the mission, several meetings with partners of the GHPP projects COVIMPACT Hepatitis and Sero-B were held to share experiences and discuss the way forward, thus strengthening the collaboration.

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Treffen des Teams der WHO-Mission mit dem Gesundheitsminister und weiteren Vertreterinnen und Vertretern des Gesundheitsministeriums Kirgisistans (Quelle: WHO Länderbüro in Kirgisistan)

At the end of April 2022, a World Health Organization (WHO) mission with the participation of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) took place to Kyrgyzstan to assess the national hepatitis and HIV elimination programmes. This included consideration of the objectives for two Global Health Protection Programme (GHPP) projects “Preparation of Serosurveys to evaluate hepatitis B vaccination impact in Eastern Europe and Central Asia” (Sero-B) and “Assessing the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on viral hepatitis B and C elimination efforts in Eastern Europe and Central Asia” (COVIMPACT Hepatitis). Several meetings were held with national partners to exchange experiences and discuss the way forward in the projects, which helped to intensify the collaboration.
Treffen des Hepatitis-Teams der Mission mit Vertreterinnen von Patientenorganisationen Kirgisistans (Quelle: WHO Länderbüro in Kirgisistan)

In project Sero-B, the seroprevalence among children in Kyrgyzstan born after the introduction of the general recommendation to vaccinate against hepatitis B is being reviewed. To evaluate the control of hepatitis B, a maximum prevalence of 0.5% is being targeted by the WHO. During the mission, the final study samples were collected and experiences of the study process were shared at meetings with participating schools, polyclinics and laboratories. It turned out that despite some organisational difficulties due to the pandemic situation, the study had run successfully so far and testing of the collected samples for hepatitis B seromarkers could start soon.

For project COVIMPACT Hepatitis, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on hepatitis B and C elimination targets in Kyrgyzstan is being assessed. In meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Health, with international partners such as UNDP, UNAIDS and the Global Fund, as well as with governmental and non-governmental organisations, the current status of hepatitis B and C elimination was discussed. It became apparent that the ambitious goals of the previous elimination programme for the years 2017-2022 could not be achieved in large part due to lack of financial support and the consequences of the pandemic. Together with WHO experts, several recommendations were developed and presented to the Ministry of Health at the end of the mission. One important recommendation was to use synergies between the viral hepatitis and HIV elimination programmes for a joint elimination programme in Kyrgyzstan for the years 2022-2026

Date: June 2022

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