The world is currently experiencing the greatest level of forced displacement that has ever been recorded, and as a result the disease burden profiles in Europe are changing. It is estimated that migrants account for 25% of all chronic HBV cases and 14% of all chronic HCV infections in Europe (European Center for Disease Control and Prevention (ECDC), 2016). Despite the heavy burden of viral hepatitis and other infections such as HIV and TB among migrant populations the delivery of prevention, screening, and treatment is greatly impeded by many social, political and structural barriers.
In efforts to reach this high-risk marginalized population and deliver much needed prevention and treatment interventions, EILF is developing programs specifically targeting migrants in Italy; the main point of arrival into Europe.
The first project will launch in Milan in March 2018 in collaboration with Fondazione ARCA and is being led by Dr. Giuseppe Colucci. This project will target migrants who have applied for refugee or residence status.
Through these two programs, EILF will develop and implement sustainable infectious disease prevention, screening and treatment models for migrants. The models will empower countries and key stakeholders to implement migrant specific elimination programs; assisting countries to achieve the WHO 2030 viral hepatitis elimination targets.