Rui Tato Marinho is currently a Professor at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Lisbon (FMUL) and Director of the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Northern Lisbon University Hospital Centre (CHULN).
The Directorate-General of Health (DGS), through the National Programme for Viral Hepatitis, joins the celebrations of World Hepatitis Day and welcomes Professor Rui Tato Marinho, recently appointed programme director.
World Hepatitis Day is celebrated every year on 28 July, bringing together various countries under a single theme: raising awareness about viral hepatitis and influencing changes in lifestyle habits.
We share a text written by the new director of the National Programme for Viral Hepatitis:
Three times more than 95% and a priority
Viral hepatitis is a global, European and national public health problem. One of the goals outlined by the WHO for 2030 is to eliminate viral hepatitis so that it is not a serious public health problem. They are chronic diseases with high epidemiological expression, with an estimated 2% of the European population carrying one of the viruses, hepatitis B and C.
Every year, around the world, 1 million people die from the consequences of hepatitis: acute hepatitis, liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. They are preventable and curable diseases if treated at an early stage.
Hepatitis B vaccine is more than 95% effective, as well as the antivirals to control hepatitis B and to treat/cure hepatitis C with reduced side effects. It is the first time that man has been able to definitively eliminate an oncogenic virus, as was the case with hepatitis C.
Researchers of these two viruses, B and C, were awarded the Nobel Prize in 1976 and 2020.
In good time, the DGS and the Ministry of Health decided to make the National Programme on Viral Hepatitis autonomous.
The country has 12 priority Health programmes. Viral hepatitis networks with cancer diseases, physical exercise, healthy eating, mental health, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS infection.
It is an honour, a pleasure and a challenge for us to coordinate this new way of looking at viral hepatitis.
We extend our congratulations to Professor Rui Tato Marinho for his appointment.