1Swiss Hepatitis, Zurich, Switzerland.
2Arud Centre for Addiction Medicine, Zurich, Switzerland.
Hepatitis C infection is responsible for high morbidity and mortality rates globally as well as for significant indirect costs. The disease burden caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) is comparable to the one caused by human immunodeficiency virus or tuberculosis. Today, simple detection methods, highly effective and easy to administer therapies and efficient preventative measures are available to combat hepatitis C. Nevertheless, in most countries around the world, the World Health Organization target of eliminating this infectious disease and its consequences by 2030 are not being met. Significant gaps in care for hepatitis C sufferers still exist, the shortcomings ranging from education and treatment to aftercare. Hepatitis C infection was and still is not on the radar of most politicians and health authorities. National programmes and strategies to combat the disease exist or are being developed in many countries. However, for these to be implemented efficiently and successfully, clear political commitment, strong civil society actors, well-functioning public health structures and the relevant support from global donors are needed.