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Twenty dental clinics closed due to Hepatitis C risk

By Tea Mariamidze
Thursday, March 19
Twenty dental clinics have been closed in Tbilisi and the regions because of unsanitary conditions and the high risk of Hepatitis C. Deputy Health Minister Valeri Kvaratskhelia stated that the monitoring in dental offices was carried out in the framework of the hepatitis C program through which dental clinics in Tbilisi and most regions of Georgia have been checked in order to eliminate the threat of hepatitis C and other infections.

“From the 20 clinics that failed to meet standards, five have already re-opened, as they have implemented our recommendations,” he said.

He also added that the monitoring has been beneficial to society.

“Our aim was not to close clinics. Our goal was to improve infection control in hospitals and clinics. The monitoring played a very positive role,” Kvaratskhelia said.

The Georgian Government declared 2015 as the year to fight hepatitis C.

The Health minister David Sergeenko held a press conference on February 26, 2015, where he said that a contract pertaining to new Hepatitis C medication would be signed in April between the government of Georgia, the US Center for Disease Control and the American biotechnology company Gilead Sciences.

According to the agreement, Harvoni, a new generation medicine, will enter the Georgian market. Harvoni was created by using the combination of two existing Hepatitis C medicines - Sofosbuvir and Ledipasvir.

Sergeenko said Sofosbuvir would be the first to be brought to Georgia, which would later be followed by the other medicines.

“The memorandum will be signed in April and several days after, the first batch of the medicine will be brought to Georgia,” the minister said. He added that the medication will be affordable for everyone.

1,700 dental clinics in total are registered in Georgia. The Kartli and Kakheti regions will be monitored next. Also unregistered clinics and tattoo and beauty salons will be checked, as well as hospitals.

The whole examination will be completed in five days.