Viral hepatitis remains a major global health threat that desperately needs increased public awareness, further scientific inquiry, and public health programs. In West Africa, the current state of knowledge about Hepatitis C (HCV) and Hepatitis B (HBV) is inadequate. Uncertainty clouds infection and chronicity prevalence estimates, a clear understanding of transmission modes, as well as the viral, host, and exposure factors compounding disease progression.
Paramount to investigating these questions is the need to better define the epidemic through building properly developed cohorts and establishing cross institution collaborations to allow the creation of a network of investigators with complementary expertise. The over-riding objective of HepNet is in the establishment of a multi-disciplinary, structured “hepatitis network” that will enhance our collective ability to address the fundamental questions surrounding the hepatitis epidemics in West Africa.
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