ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on National Health Services, Regulations, and Coordination Dr Faisal Sultan on Friday said that the government was taking a huge initiative to launch a Prime Minister’s programme for the elimination of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the country.
Addressing an event held here in connection with World Hepatitis Day, he said that the Prime Minister’s programme would screen all the eligible population of the country for Hepatitis C and would provide free testing and treatment to anti-HCV positive patients.
He said that the goal of the programme was to eliminate, by 2030, HCV infection from all provinces and territories of Pakistan. The provinces, as share to PM’s HCV elimination programme, have committed to design, organize and implement preventive programmes (injection safety, infection control, safe blood transfusion and other programmes) in their provinces to focus on preventive interventions for the elimination of HCV infection.
In addition to the initiative of the PM Programme, the Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination is implementing HCV micro elimination projects among urban slums of Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) with a catchment population of 50,000, Islamabad police force and National Highways and Motorways Police.
He added in these micro elimination projects free hepatitis C screening, testing and treatment services had been provided to the populations with more than 96% cure rates.
He said that a dedicated Infectious Diseases’ Planning, Development and Monitoring Unit (PDMU) had been established at the ministry that was dedicated to providing technical assistance to all the national, provincial and regional hepatitis control programmes for its elimination by 2030.
He said, “On this world hepatitis day, we must pledge to collaborate and exert strategic, effective and well-coordinated efforts for the elimination of hepatitis from the country by 2030.”
He said that for the general public the only message was that this year’s theme for world hepatitis day was “Hepatitis Can’t wait” so people should not wait but go for testing, vaccination and treatment.
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