September 30, 2010

NVHR: In Fighting for 'Six Winnable Battles,' CDC May Lose the Nation's Overall Public-Health War

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In response to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Director Dr. Thomas Frieden's release of "six winnable battles" in health care, Ms. Lorren Sandt, Chair of the National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable (NVHR) and Executive Director of Caring Ambassadors Program, based in Portland, Oregon, released the following statement:

"The CDC's newly released 'six winnable battles' strategy makes a mockery of the broad-based, comprehensive, and integrated public-health strategy that our nation so desperately needs. In seeking to win six narrowly defined health care battles, the CDC may well lose the overall public-health war.

"Chronic viral hepatitis B and C are among dozens of conditions that are shortchanged by this PR-driven public-health approach from CDC. We can and must do better. How can a vaccine preventable virus, hepatitis B, and the only virus we can cure, hepatitis C, fail to make this list?

"Chronic viral hepatitis afflicts more than 5 million Americans directly and, by extension, tens of millions more of their loved ones. Most Americans are not aware they are infected until they present with serious related illnesses. Without adequate screening and treatment, chronic viral hepatitis often progresses to cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.

"Over the past year, experts from the Institute of Medicine, the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, and the Trust for America's Health have all identified how best to address the viral hepatitis epidemic with common-sense action plans. Regrettably, the Administration is lacking the political will to implement them.

"The CDC's omission of viral hepatitis from its list of 'winnable battles' is not simply an oversight – it's an abdication of duty to many Americans who may well lose their battle with chronic viral hepatitis in the decades to come."

NVHR is a coalition of more than 170 public, private, and voluntary organizations dedicated to reducing the incidence of infection, morbidity, and mortality from chronic viral hepatitis that afflicts more than 5 million Americans.

SOURCE National Viral Hepatitis Roundtable



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