Raquel Peck

Raquel Peck is the CEO of the World Hepatitis Alliance (WHA), an international umbrella organisation of more than 250 hepatitis groups which she helped to establish in 2007. Before being appointed CEO, Raquel worked as the International Relations Director for the WHA and was part seconded to the World Health Organization (WHO). Previously to this she was employed as a Public Relations Coordinator for the only UK national charity dedicated to hepatitis C - The Hepatitis C Trust. Peck's work in the field was instrumental to the adoption of three WHO resolutions on hepatitis, the third resulting in the ratification of a robust Elimination Strategy for the disease by 194 governments in 2016. She is committed to seeing a world where viral hepatitis is no longer a public health issue and will continue to campaign for the ultimate goal of eliminating the epidemic.

world hepatitis day
New research from the World Hepatitis Alliance reveals why 9 in 10 people living with viral hepatitis are unaware of their status Two years ago, 194 countries committed to the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030. By adopting the World Health Organization’s Global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis , governments finally recognised the disease as a significant global health threat and welcomed the opportunity to wipe out a disease that claims more than one million lives every year. Two years on, progress is slow. At the World Hepatitis Alliance we believe that diagnosis in particular remains one of the biggest barriers to elimination and very few countries are on track to meet the 2020 interim target of 30% of people living with hepatitis B and C diagnosed. Right now, of the 325 million people living with viral hepatitis worldwide, more than 290 million are still unaware. That’s 9 out of 10 men, women and children going about their daily lives completely oblivious to the fact that they are at risk of developing cirrhosis or liver cancer. Without finding these millions of people and linking them to care, we know that all other efforts to eliminate viral hepatitis will have only marginal success. To address this we commissioned a global survey to ascertain the main barriers to hepatitis B and C diagnosis. The findings revealed that the five main barriers are: Lack of public knowledge of the diseases; Lack of knowledge of viral hepatitis among healthcare professionals; Lack of easily accessibly testing; Stigma and discrimination; and Out-of-pocket costs for the population. The survey findings informed a two-day stakeholder consultation meeting where global experts discussed how to overcome these barriers. Throughout the meeting, to me the resounding message was clear: governments must act immediately in each of the areas above...