Hepatitis C eradication possible in Iran at low cost: expert

May 20, 2019

TEHRAN – The Hepatitis C can be eradicated in Iran at the cost of just 2 trillion rials (about $4.7 million), and the sum is not high for the country, the head of Iran’s Hepatitis Network Seyyed Moayed Alavian announced, IRNA reported.

This is the total expenses should be spent on eradication of the disease, which can be paid in ten years to places like prisons, he explained.

Iran should achieve the goal of Hepacivirus C (HCV) elimination by 2030, he said.

It was planned to treat 20,000 patients suffering from HCV annually, however, the number is 10,000 patients, he lamented.

“Now we have 176 thousands patients suffering from HCV, out of which, 60 to 70 percent were either addicted or prisoned in past,” he said.

According to World Health Organization hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus. The virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness.

The hepatitis C virus is a blood borne virus and the most common modes of infection are through exposure to small quantities of blood. This may happen through injection drug use, unsafe injection practices, unsafe health care, and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.

Globally, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection and a significant number of those who are chronically infected will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Approximately 399,000 people die each year from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Antiviral medicines can cure more than 95 percent of persons with hepatitis C infection, thereby reducing the risk of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low.

SB/MQ/MG

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