WHO CC for Viral Hepatitis

WHO CC for Viral Hepatitis | Centre Activities

Victorian Perinatal Research Project

Key project findings

Key findings for this project were presented at the research seminar How can we improve the delivery of vaccine preventable diseases care to women in Victoria?

Moderated by Professor Benjamin Cowie, Director of WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis, The Doherty Institute.

Presented by Nafisa Yussf and Dr Nicole Allard, researchers from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis, The Doherty Institute.

Panellists: Nafisa Yussf – The Doherty Institute, Dr Nicole Allard – The Doherty Institute, Dr Jack Wallace – Burnet Institute, Neylan Akut – LiverWELL, Lived experience perspectives, Mia Bromley and Stacey Rowe – Victorian Government Department of Health.

Download the presentation here

Project summary

In 2016 an estimated 61,000 Victorians were living with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), of whom approximately one third remain undiagnosed. MTCT of hepatitis B can be prevented by diagnosis and treatment of women, and vaccination of infants with hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG). Elimination of MTCT is part of the WHO's goals of triple elimination (HIV, Syphilis and HBV) to which Australia is a signatory. An estimated 800 Victorian women living with CHB give birth every year. While the uptake of antenatal testing for hepatitis B is reported as high, the proportion of women and their infants who receive quality care to prevent MTCT has not previously been known.


This research project aims to comprehensively describe the current status of MTCT of hepatitis B elimination efforts in Victoria, using quantitative and qualitative analyses and assessing all aspects of the health care system. There are three different components of the project including (1) data linkage and analysis, (2) evaluating system level factors associated with care to pregnant women living with hepatitis B and their infants and (3) exploring lived experiences and attitudes to service delivery during and post pregnancy.


  • Establish accurate estimates for the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (MTCT) for hepatitis B in Victoria through timely and accurate data collection, linkage and analysis
  • Evaluate health care system barriers to the delivery of care for vaccine preventable diseases (influenza, pertussis and hepatitis B) during pregnancy
  • Explore current community understandings, attitudes, and practices in relation to the prevention of MTCT of hepatitis B service delivery in Victoria.


WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis, Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity

Principal Investigator: Prof Benjamin Cowie

Co-investigators: Ms Nicole Romero, Ms Nafisa Yussf, Dr Nicole Allard

Collaborating organisations: The system mapping and community components are in collaboration with Burnet Institute and LiverWELL (Hepatitis Victoria).


Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.


Nafisa Yussf at nafisa.yussf@mh.org.au