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Defeating Hepatitis C

By Mariam Chanishvili
Wednesday, August 17
The Prime Minister of Georgia (PM), Giorgi Kvirikashvili, said that Hepatitis C will be 'practically eradicated' in Georgia over the next 4 years. The government of Georgia is going to approve the 2016-2020 National Strategy on Elimination of Hepatitis C.

Kvirikashvili discussed the issue during a recent Cabinet Session. He said that after 4 years, 90% of patients infected with Hepatitis C virus will have been screened and 95% of the patients with the disease shall have been treated.

The budget of the 5-year strategic plan is over 116 million GEL. A total of 57 million GEL will be allocated from the state budget, whereas medicaments worth of 15 billion USD will be granted to state within the frames of the programme.

“Thousands of families were preserved from extreme poverty during the past period. The program will provide the state with the medications worth 15 billion USD. Therefore, implementation of this program is very important,” the PM noted.

The PM thanked Georgia's partners, namely the Gilead Sciences company, the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention and the Governmental team led by Davit Sergeenko.

Gilead Sciences offered free supplies of its Hepatitis C medicine in Georgia as part of a project that is designed to convince governments and agencies that the disease can be all but eliminated with widespread treatment.

The programme has the backing of the U.S. Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

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