Hepatitis B Positive Trust, UK
Paul has run the Hepatitis B Trust National Charity and helpline since 2010, some 10,000 HBV and HCV patients have been advised. The Hepatitis B Trust produces guidance for 14 Industries, the Medical Profession and patients. Paul has talked to hundreds of organisations about hepatitis B and C and advised on 500,000 hbv vaccinations, his online forum has reached 500,000 users. Policy packs for Unions, Schools and Politicians are also produced. Some 40 posters and videos have also been used tailored to different venues.
Campaigners for the Hepatitis B Trust today condemned 20 years of government failure to address our tripling Hepatitis B infections and accused the Department of Health of hiding them, especially among UK children, migrants and valuable key workers.
Trust Director of Communications, Paul Desmond said, “The UK is still continuing to under publicise the prevalence of this booming epidemic even in 2017, forty years after the test became available. We have received the last audit of 100,000 HPA hospital tests done to keep an eye on HBV from 2008 to 2015, and now it is published, the results are far worse than anyone dreamt possible.”
“The fact is our hospitals are reporting 1 in 64 adults and even more concerning 1 in 140 children in the UK are already incurably infected with HBV when tested. This means our children are now testing 30 times more infected than their US counterparts, who are testing 1 in 5000 positive in their surveillance programs. Our inner cities and their schools have suffered a massive boom in infections and we are still not being warned or using the vaccine effectively. We are not being allowed to test enough to find out what help is needed among children, professions and migrants when there are onward infections and school and healthcare/high street outbreaks.”
Paul explains, “The reason why people need to know about HBV is we have 12 million adults and children at risk of infection and we estimate a fast growing 440,000 HBV positive people out there, mainly undiagnosed at risk of cancer. People especially need to learn HBV is not rare like HIV with 90,000 UK infections; HBV is common with 2,000,000 UK infections and 500,000 unable to clear the virus. Further HBV is not mild like Swine Flu, killing in the hundreds; it kills up to a third of the long term infected, potentially 166,000 lives in the UK. And our non alcoholic liver deaths are booming fastest in the EU.
People need to ask themselves why on earth they know about rare bugs and mild bugs and yet with a vast deadly threat like HBV we have 12 million citizens who have not been told they are at risk of infection and indicated for testing on the WHO Atlas for 20 years. Over the years the National HBV Helpline has received calls from thousands of patients, public and even health secretaries and doctors, all needing basic facts about HBV, all struggling to understand HBV and its risk.“
Paul continued “Citizens have a right to know how you catch HBV, how hundreds of millions of children catch it, how their schools are infectious, how their occupations may often be infectious or if the World Health Organisation has audited their nationality as being a more than 1 in 50 risk like Spain and the 100 other nationals we recommend for prompt safety testing and vaccination.“
“Mothers have a right to know children cannot enter schools without HBV vaccination certificates in the rest of the world, that only zero migration Scandinavia and ourselves do not protect children from HBV. How anybody, never mind the Minister for Public Health can imagine we have the HBV prevalence of Finland while gazing from the Commons at 3.8 million migrants from endemic areas in London alone is simply beyond any logic. Especially with the Department of Health refusing to test and guessing there are only 180,000 cases in the UK since 1993, while so many independent experts both here and overseas are seeing 500,000 or much nearer the EU average due to migration.”
In 2017 can our new UK Government finally enact the 1999 WHO Hepatitis Guidelines for testing?