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Public Health Wales to carry out development work on European database of Hepatitis B

Monday, 20 February 2012
Public Health Wales has been contracted by the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC) to carryout development work on a proposed Hepatitis B (HBV) database for all of Europe. 
ECDC has a mandate to oversee the surveillance of infectious diseases across European Union countries and to harmonise and strengthen surveillance across these countries. It is keen to develop a database to capture data from across Europe on the prevalence of hepatitis B and C, HIV/AIDS and Chlamydia from a range of sources including routine screening programmes and prevalence studies. 
Although case-based information from across Europe on HIV/AIDS and sexually transmitted infections is well established, it has limitations for collecting information on hepatitis B and C, which are frequently asymptomatic. To gain a fuller understanding of the epidemiology of these diseases, prevalence data from other sources should also be reviewed alongside case based surveillance wherever possible.
Dr Marion Lyons, Head of the Public Health Wales Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Programme, said: “The organisation has been asked to explore the strengths, weaknesses and challenges in collecting hepatitis B prevalence data for Wales and to review the potential options for the further development of this. This work will require collaboration with a range of stakeholder organisations that hold hepatitis B data for populations and risk groups across Wales.’’
This work is now underway and will be completed by the end of June 2012. The project team includes individuals from the Health Protection division, Informatics, Library services and Microbiology services and is also supported by a colleague from the Health Protection Agency.
More information on the Public Health Wales Sexual Health and Blood Borne Virus Programme is available at: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sites3/page.cfm?orgid=457&pid=27685
More information on Hepatitis B is available from the Public Health Wales website at: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/43690.  Information on Hepatitis C is available at: http://www.wales.nhs.uk/sitesplus/888/page/43746
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