Hepatitis C treatment programme to roll out on Thursday

The Ministry of Health, in collaboration with the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), will on Thursday launch a programme geared at providing medication and other services to persons living with Hepatitis C.

The viral infection which causes liver inflammation, sometimes leading to serious liver damage, spreads through contaminated blood, according to Mayo Clinic.

Health Minister, Dr Frank Anthony said that though the price for treatment has reduced significantly over the years, a great challenge still exists for persons in accessing the necessary medication.

He said treatment is now estimated at US $2000 per person.

If we want to prevent cancers in persons infected with HepC, it is better that you treat them early…We have partnered with PAHO to access these medications and we will be launching that programme on Thursday,” Dr Anthony revealed Tuesday.

The minister said this will be the first time Guyana will see a programme of this nature.

He noted that this will be one of the leading Hepatitis C treatment initiatives in the Caribbean.

“For the first time in Guyana, we will have available treatment where the government is going to provide the treatment, and I think it’s probably the first initiative in the Caribbean as well,” he said.

According to the World Health Organisation, more than 350 million people are living with this disease globally.

The virus can begin with an acute phase which can go undetected, but may have symptoms like jaundice, fatigue, fever, muscle aches, or nausea.

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