Welcome to your round-up of everything happening in the NOhep world! Read NOhep News in full here, or catch up with the headlines below. If you want to receive future editions of NOhep news, sign up to our movement here.
The National Health Service (NHS) in England has announced a new world leading deal, which aims to find and cure tens of thousands more people with hepatitis C.
Three drug companies and the NHS will work together in proactively identifying and treating people who may be unaware they have hepatitis C, including homeless people and other high risk groups. To find potential patients, they will work with local health services, councils and voluntary groups.
Rachel Halford, chief executive of The Hepatitis C Trust, said “We believe this deal offers a unique opportunity for all stakeholders – patient organisations, pharmaceutical companies, clinicians, prison healthcare and drug misuse services – to work together to reach all those affected”.
Simon Stevens, chief executive of NHS England, says “It’s not often that the opportunity arises to completely eradicate a disease, but now the NHS is taking practical action to achieve exactly that”.
India has donated $1.6 million worth of hepatitis B and C drugs to Rwanda, boosting the African country’s efforts to contain the diseases. The drugs are expected to treat 2000 patients with hepatitis C and 5000 patients with hepatitis B.
Despite a rising number of hepatitis infections, the Rwandan government plans to eliminate hepatitis C in the country in the next five years. According to Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi, the Rwandan Minister of State in Charge of Public and Primary Healthcare, India’s donation will support existing government initiatives such as early screening and treatment of patients with viral hepatitis.
Dr Nseabsi Ekanem, a public health consultant and clinical pharmacist, works to strengthen public healthcare systems in Nigeria.
Dr Ekanem runs an award winning non-governmental organisation, Trinity Healthcare Foundation. The organisation’s new HepAware Project raises awareness of viral hepatitis, its prevention, diagnosis and treatment and aims to address the barriers to elimination in Nigeria.
Spring European Testing Week
Spring European Testing Week starts on Friday 17th May and runs until 24th May. The European campaign aims to encourage partner organisations in community, healthcare and policy institutions throughout Europe to increase testing efforts and raise awareness on the benefits of hepatitis and HIV testing.
Hundreds of organisations are expected to participate this year. In previous years, people and organisations have created incredible awareness raising displays and organised their own Testing Week activities. Initiatives like Spring Testing Week bring us closer to the elimination of viral hepatitis.
There are loads of ways you can get involved. For more information, success stories and guidance for campaign activities, click on this link.
Hepatitis Awareness Month
In the month of May, agencies and offices across the US federal government, as well as state and local partners, work to raise awareness of the importance of vaccinations for hepatitis B, testing for hepatitis B and C, the availability of effective care and curative treatment, and the serious health consequences resulting from undiagnosed and untreated viral hepatitis.