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Hepatitis C Elimination Program successful

By Tatia Megeneishvili
Wednesday, November 2
Hepatitis C patients will receive medical services in 24 medical institutions across the country with the Hepatitis C Elimination Program, launched in Georgia in 2015 with the United States’ support.

A representative of the Health Promotion and Education Foundation, Giorgi Bakhturidze, said anyone could call the hotline of Ministry of Health and get information about the locations of screening centers.

He stressed that 150, 000 people in Georgia suffer from an active form of Hepatitis C, and, according to statistics, Georgia is the fifth country in the world with the rate of spreading the virus.

“This is 5.4% of the population,” stated Bakhturidze.

Bakhturidze said the most vulnerable group, which was the focus of the program during its first stage, was inmates.

“Since we had good results with treating prisoners, the program spread all over the country,” he said.

Bakhturidze added that apart from those actively suffering from the disease, approximately a further 200, 000 persons in Georgia had a passive form of the virus.

Bakhturidze calls on everyone to make free screening examinations every 6 months. He also noted that the screening process was painless.

“We are not ensured from risks which is almost everywhere; in medical houses, in dental clinics, salons and other establishments where we have contact with blood. That is why we recommend everyone to go for free screening regularly,” stated Bakhturidze.

He explained that even in case of a positive response from screening it does not mean that person has the disease in an active form.

“In some cases that means that the immune system of the individual is so strong that it has already defeated the illness. However, the person must still visit a Hepatitis C center for additional analysis,” stated Bakhturidze.