What is a Hep C Champion?
Hep C champions are members of civil and professional society who have identified their support to ensuring Ireland upholds its commitment to the elimination of Hepatitis C by 2030. In 2016, all 194 member-states of the World Health Organization (WHO) committed to eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat. These targets include reducing mortality by 65% and reducing new infections by 80% by 2030, compared with 2015 rates.
In 2019, a report by the EASL and research by the CDA Foundation highlighted that progress towards elimination was off track for an estimated 30 countries, Ireland is one of those countries. Current projections from the Polaris observatory suggest Ireland will achieve HCV elimination by 2051, 21 years after the elimination deadline.
In response to concerns around our elimination progress as well as evidence from front line services about the disparity of access to testing and treatment across counties inspired us to create a network of champions to rally the call for an Ireland free from the harm caused by Hepatitis C.
Hep C champions advocate for a sustained and transparent commitment to ensuring HCV elimination across the nation of Ireland, they support the notion that no person should suffer from the hidden harm of this curable and treatable infection. Health equality in terms of adequate access to treatment and a broadening of testing and treatment into a shared care approach should be initiated in Ireland.
Our champions share a vision of an Ireland free from the hidden harm of Hepatitis C.
To Sign up to become a champion click here
Kate O’Connell, Former TD
Kate is a former Irish Fine Gael politician who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Dublin Bay South constituency from 2016 to 2020. Kate made strong committments to improving standards and available services across the health service.
Catherine Bryne, Former TD
Catherine Byrne was Minister of State at the Department of Health with responsibility for Health Promotion and the National Drugs Strategy from June 2017 to June 2020. From May 2016 to June 2017, she served as Minister of State for Communities and the National Drugs Strategy.
In her current brief, she is responsible for the implementation of the National Drugs Strategy; “Reducing Harm, Supporting Recovery – a health led response to drug and alcohol use in Ireland 2017-2025”. She is also responsible for ‘Healthy Ireland’; the national framework for improved health and wellbeing.
Louise O’Reilly, Former TD - Spokesperson on Health
Louise O'Reilly is your Sinn Fein TD for Dublin Fingal. Louise is a full time Trade Union Organiser and a lifelong union activist and she is passionate about workers’ rights and fighting and campaigning against inequality.
Michael Harty, Former TD
Michael is a former Irish Independent politician who served as a Teachta Dála (TD) for the Clare constituency from 2016 to 2020.
A general practitioner based in Kilmihil, County Clare, he campaigned on a 'No Doctor No Village' platform to reverse the decline in the income of rural GPs.