Experts, officials, Government Ministers and patients from across the world gathered this week at the SECC in Glasgow last week to attend the first global summit on hepatitis. It was sponsored and organised by Scottish Government, the World Health Organisation, the World Hepatitis Alliance, Glasgow Caledonian University and Health Protection Scotland. Haemophilia Scotland was represented by our chair Bill Wright.
Opening the Summit, Scotland’s Health Minister referred to the infection of people with haemophilia and others with hepatitis C via NHS blood products and stated “we remain absolutely committed to those affected by that tragedy”.
Scotland received widespread plaudits for the way in which it led the world in making available the expensive new treatments available to those infected with hepatitis C. Shona Robison set out the lessons that Scotland had learned about what needed to be done in reaching this world leading position. Firstly, the accumulation of robust data. Second, a clear structured national plan. Third, the involvement of patients and accountability.
With significant numbers of those infected by blood products in Scotland responding well to the new treatments, the position has clearly altered dramatically for the better in the last few months, albeit many will sadly also be left with irreversible fibrosis and cirrhosis.
The SECC is going to be the venue for the World Federation of Hemophilia Congress in 2018. It’s a great venue and we are looking forward to our friends from round the world seeing it and enjoying all that Glasgow, and Scotland has to offer.