Posted on July 28, 2017

The results of the early screening of hepatitis C, carried out by the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) in cooperation with the Primary Health Care Corporation, has shown significant reduction in the prevalence of the disease.

The campaign included more than 7,600 patients. A number of positive cases were transferred to HMC and treated with the latest and most effective medical drugs known as 'Direct antiviral drugs' provided by Qatar for free to all citizens and residents through the Liver Diseases Department of Hamad Medical Corporation, in cooperation with the Qatar Red Crescent, the private sector and many partners in the country. The prevalence of hepatitis C is 0.8 percent among the entire population of Qatar, with only 0.25 percent among Qataris.

According to WHO, Qatar is also classified as a low-burden type B hepatitis, with a prevalence rate of less than 2 per cent. The MoPH in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Higher Education carried out a campaign of school students to detect hepatitis B and found no cases, which reflects the high coverage of the immunisation programme against the disease in Qatar. Qatar is participating in the celebration of the World Hepatitis Day, which is observed on July 28 every year and being held under the slogan 'Elimination of Hepatitis' this year.

World Hepatitis Day is an opportunity to enhance the efforts to implement the WHO Global Health Strategy for 2016-2021 and to help countries achieve the ultimate goal of eradicating hepatitis. The Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation and the Primary Health Care Corporation, together with national partners, are carrying out awareness campaigns to fight the disease. The ministry also held a number of national seminars and workshops for medical staff to raise their competence in identifying and treating the disease in line with the directives of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The fight against hepatitis is one of the priorities of the health system in Qatar because of the severe complications that could result from this infection such as cirrhosis, liver failure and liver cancer, complications which are difficult to treat and a major burden on the health system. Qatar adopts a strategy to eradicate this disease through the joint efforts of the MoPH, HMC, PHCC, Qatar Red Crescent Society, the private sector and many local and international partners. The strategy is based on raising health awareness and early detection of the disease, providing effective treatment for patients with an accurate monitoring system, and maintaining high vaccination rates against hepatitis B.

The WHO recommends early screening of the disease through laboratory tests. These tests are available in the Qatar to enable citizens and residents to conduct it in order to take the appropriate treatment.

source: Qatar Tribune

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