The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the national health and care systems in hepatitis control. The need to reallocate resources and personnel, decreased accessibility to services, and temporarily reduced supplies of tests and medications are likely to have far-reaching consequences for other disease areas, including viral hepatitis.
The impact of COVID-19 on hepatitis control is particularly critical in countries with high viral hepatitis burdens and limited resources for testing and treatment. This is the case in many Eastern European and Central Asian countries.
The COVIMPACT hepatitis project is a collaboration between the RKI and the WHO Regional Office Europe and will be implemented in Eastern Europe and Central Asia in close coordination with the participating countries. All project steps are planned and implemented together with the responsible national bodies. The Project will be conducted with five out of nine countries with active Viral Hepatitis Elimination Projects in place.
In close cooperation with the participating countries the current status of the national hepatitis elimination programs will be assessed regarding the impact of the COVID 19 pandemic on achievement of national and WHO hepatitis Elimination goals. Based on a desk review consulatory meeting will be conducted with each country. An in-depth analysis in two of the countries will help to gain deeper insight into the impact of the pandemic on Hepatitis elimination programs.
In the end of the project a joint evaluation workshop will bring together relevant stakeholders including national policy makers and program managers, to discuss, provide content, and review the project results.
The overall objective of the project is to evaluate the impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on ongoing national hepatitis control programs and to develop strategies for strengthening programs during and immediately after the pandemic.
- Assess the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the implementation of viral hepatitis elimination activities and subsequent achievement of elimination indicators, including assessment of delay in implementation of national viral hepatitis elimination efforts
- Generate evidence and data for further assessment of the burden of disease of viral hepatitis
- Provide technical assistance to countries in reviewing national plans to scale up viral hepatitis elimination activities during and after the COVID-19 pandemic
- Assist countries in developing viral hepatitis control and elimination strategies during the pandemic and recovery plans for the immediate phase toward the end of the pandemic
Last update: December 2022