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Patients cured from Hepatitis C

By Tea Mariamidze
Monday, June 20
A total of 83% of patients were cured due to Hepatitis C Elimination Program in Georgia. The information was spread by the Health Minister of Georgia at the National guidance and Education symposium, held on June 18 in Tbilisi.

The conference was opened by Minister of Health of Georgia Davit Sergeenko. Georgian and foreign specialists summarized the results of their year's work within the programme, and discussed new approaches of Hepatitis C treatment.

According to Sergeenko, the average index of Hepatitis C in Georgia is 7.7, which is in the top five countries in the world with the highest rate of the decease. However, he noted that the programme is being implemented successfully with 11,000 people having been treated.

“Last year we had criteria according to which the highest-risk patients were treated first. However, now we have abolished these criteria and any type of patient can undergo the treatment,” he stated.

According to the Head of Infectious Pathology, Clinical Immunology and AIDS Surveillance Council, Tengiz Tsertsvadze, the programme is highly innovative, and about 9,000 underwent treatment during the first stage of the programme.

“About 83% of the treated patients were cured…Georgia was chosen as a model country, which means that there will be no new cases of Hepatitis C detected in the country after 5 years,” he claimed.

The health project - Georgia without Hepatitis C - was launched in Georgia in April 2015, when the government of Georgia and an American biotechnology company Gilead signed a memorandum of understanding.

The project helps to reduce and prevent Hepatitis C cases in Georgia. The main goal of the project is to make the disease from being highly contagious and not uncommon to a very rare condition in several years. The treatment is free for citizens of Georgia.

During the first stage, sofosbuvir was used as the primary medicine. However, for the second stage (which started three months ago), Havron was being used, a newer medicine which is believed to cure 95% of Hepatitis C patients.