The WATCH study
The West African Treatment Cohort for Hepatitis B (WATCH) study, initially funded by the European Commission (FP7) has been conducted in The Gambia and Senegal between 2012 and 2014. Using a rapid point-of-care test (picture below) we have screened more than 16,000 people living in Gambian and Senegalese communities. In both countries, we found a high proportion of people infected with HBV (more than 8% of the general adult population). All HBV-infected participants have been invited for comprehensive liver assessment including HBV DNA measurement. People with significant liver disease have been given treatment using Tenofovir as recommended by the EASL treatment criteria. Our results have been published in The Lancet Global Health Journal (Lemoine, M et al.2016).
Our study is the first one to provide description of the severity of the liver disease in people with chronic hepatitis B in sub-Saharan Africa. These results have informed the World Health Organization Viral Hepatitis Unit (WHO global hepatitis report 2017).
Screening activities using rapid Point of care tests in Gambian villages.