The sustainable development goals and hepatitis B and C in the EU/EEA


European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control. The sustainable development goals and hepatitis B and C in the EU/EEA. March 2021. ECDC: Stockholm, 2021.

In order to monitor progress towards the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030 target to combat viral hepatitis, this report provides data on hepatitis B and C prevention, incidence, diagnosis, treatment, cure/viral suppression, and mortality in European Union/European Economic Area (EU/EEA) countries with data collected in 2019.

Executive summary

For elimination, available data indicate that most countries are not on track to meet the World Health Organization (WHO) targets for reduction in hepatitis B and C incidence and mortality attributable to hepatitis B and C by 2030.

For prevention, available data show good progress on hepatitis B childhood vaccination programme coverage in most countries, but sub-optimal coverage of harm reduction measures for people who inject drugs to prevent hepatitis C in many countries reporting.

Relating to the continuum of care, data show most countries are far from achieving targets for the percentage of chronic hepatitis B and C cases diagnosed and the percentage of diagnosed cases treated. Although the target for the percentage of treated hepatitis C cases leading to cure has been met for all countries reporting, indicating good progress, this must be seen in the context of most countries are being far from reaching the targets for the proportion of cases diagnosed and on treatment. However, insufficient data was available to assess progress towards this target for hepatitis B.

For almost all indicators, a large number of countries did not report data. A lack of robust, reliable data presents a huge challenge to making progress on the viral hepatitis epidemic. Improved monitoring systems and reporting are urgently needed to better understand and take action on hepatitis B and C in the European region.