Measurement and reporting of burden of disease for hepatitis A: results of the EUROHEP.NET feasibility survey
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
European journal of public health. - Oxford
, p. 69-74
Background: European countries use a wide variety of surveillance systems and prevention measures for viral hepatitis. Each system is adapted to the local situation and an overview was never mapped out at European level. The EUROHEP.NET Project is a European Commission-funded feasibility study for a future network on surveillance and prevention of vaccine-preventable hepatitis. We analysed the measurement and reporting of burden of disease for hepatitis A (HA) and B (HB) in the participating countries. Methods: Twenty-eight countries were invited to participate in this study. An online survey was available from the projects website (www.eurohep.net). The questions concerned the organisation of the surveillance system, case definition, burden of disease, epidemiology, and vaccination strategies. The responses on data sources and the numeric data related to burden of disease for HA for the period 19972001 were analysed. Results: Twenty-two countries completed the survey for hepatitis A. Data on total number of hospitalisations and deaths were available from 17 and 18 countries, respectively, although sometimes not complete. Data on hospitalisation days, number of liver transplants and proportion of these due to HAV were often not available. Conclusion: Surveillance systems on burden of disease for hepatitis A show a wide diversity among the participating countries. The introduction of a standardised system of data collection at the European Union level according to ICD-10 but respecting the local current practices is a primary need, especially for data that should be collected in all countries, like hospitalisation and mortality. A link to surveillance databases is also strongly recommended.