International Advisory Group Assesses Hepatitis C Elimination Program

A conference of international advisers has been held in the frames of the Hepatitis C Elimination Program of Georgia. The international partners will support and carry out consultations for implementing long-term strategies in monitoring, prevention and controlling systems.

The International Advisory Group, whose members are the heads of the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Emory and Hopkins Universities, World Health Organization and other international partners, attended the conference. They aim to encourage development of Hepatitis C elimination and also to increase public awareness.

The results of the Hepatitis C Elimination Program and its current conditions were discussed. According to the Ministry of Healthcare, 130-150 million people suffer from Hepatitis C and, in the WHO’s criteria, Georgia is considered as a high-prevalence country.

The Elimination Program has been on-going for six months and more than 5000 patients have undergone treatment. At the conference the second stage of the program was announced, to begin from December 2015 and including the treatment of 20,000 patients.

“From April 2015, the Ministry of Health of Georgia began a Hepatitis C Elimination Program which attracted worldwide attention. The first phase of this program foresaw free access to diagnosis and treatment,” Minister of Health, David Sergeenko, said.

Treatment courses are undergone using the latest direct-acting generation drug- Sofosbuvir.

“Georgia has achieved much progress in six months; it is a historical event. We are trying to implement elimination of this dangerous disease. The team of experts [here, today], will help Georgia to implement the program,” John Ward, head of The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.

On the first day of the conference the group discussed the condition of the Hepatitis C program in Georgia, as well as the results of a population survey and the challenges of Hepatitis C prevention and control. The group will assess conducted works and will work out recommendations regarding priority interventions, program indicators and the follow-up phases of the Elimination Program.

The involvement of the international team of experts will give Georgia’s Hepatitis C Elimination Program qualified experience and will assist in the planning of new perspectives for the healthcare system overall.

05 November 2015 22:55