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Health Minister says 2,700 patients have beaten Hepatitis C

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 22
Georgia’s Minister of Health Davit Sergeenko says the treatment of Hepatitis C will continue in Georgia until all afflicted patients have been cured.

The Minister said this several days ago to the United States (US) Ambassador to Georgia, Ian Kelly, at the Healthcare Teaching Center, informing local media about the first stage of the Hepatitis C elimination programme launched in April, 2015.

Sergeenko announced that this year, a new generation, anti-Hepatitis C medicine would be introduced in Georgia, which would nearly 'completely cure' a Hep C sufferer.

“The first stage of the Hepatitis C elimination programme was successful, and as our partners were happy with the results, the second stage will be implemented without a delay. Initially, those patients who suffer from severe forms of the illness will be our priority,” Sergeenko said.

The new medicine is named Harvoni and is produced by the American branch of the Gilead company, which is supplying Harvoni to Georgia free of charge through a memorandum signed between the company and Georgia’s Health Ministry.

During the first stage of the Hepatitis C elimination programme, Georgia also used Gilead’s Sofosbuvir medicine free of charge.

Last year, more than 7,000 people were involved in the elimination programme; 2,700 underwent a complete recovery, the Minister said.

It is planned the number of the patients involved in the programme is to increase to 20,000 this year.

The Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects an estimated 130–150 million persons globally and results in an estimated 700,000 deaths annually.

Georgia had one of the highest estimated HCV prevalence rates in the world, affecting 6.7% of the population.

It was for this reason why the Government launched a large-scale campaign against the illness last year.