Bulgaria Launches Development of National Hepatitis Plan
SOFIA, Bulgaria, July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –
The Bulgarian Health Minister together with the European Liver Patient Association
(ELPA) will initiate on 5 July the development of a National Hepatitis Plan in the context
of a roundtable discussion with international experts on viral hepatitis in the Bulgarian
This roundtable marks the beginning of a series of actions to raise the visibility of
viral Hepatitis worldwide with the main milestone of World Hepatitis Day taking place
every 28th July.
Bulgarian Health Minister, Desislava Atanasova, says on the National Bulgarian
Hepatitis Plan: “Despite being one of the poorest countries in the EU, Bulgaria will take
on the challenge to develop and implement a National Hepatitis Plan”.
The only other two regions in Europe that have developed and implemented a national
hepatitis plan in Europe are Scotland and France.
Ms Atanasova outlined some of the elements the national plan will develop, among
these, and “prevention and education for citizens and improving the access to screening
and to treatment will receive greater attention”.
ELPA’s President Tatjana Reic, highlights the difficulties to diagnose viral hepatitis
as this disease can be present for a long period asymptomatically: “It is difficult to
have a fix picture of patients suffering from hepatitis in Bulgaria. The last official
research dates back 15 years ago and ELPA estimates that there are over 500,000 people in
Bulgaria affected by Hepatitis B and C.”
The second part of the roundtable is dedicated to an exchange of best practice in
Member States. Ms Reic explains: “the aim is to decrease the number of new infections and
to improve the quality of life of patients suffering from Hepatitis B or C on a national
The roundtable will bring together experts from different organisations including the
European Commission, ECDC, WHO the EASL, ELPA , experts from France and Scotland, EPF or
WHA among others.
In support of this initiative, ELPA has commissioned Health Consumer Powerhouse (HCP)
to develop a Euro Hepatitis Index ranking EU Member States (plus Norway, Croatia and
Switzerland) according to their performance in Hepatitis B and C care. The index will be a
powerful tool for improving the treatment of viral hepatitis related diseases and is
expected to be launched in October 2012 in Brussels.
SOURCE European Liver Patients Association