Galicia’s hepatitis C elimination strategy conducts more than 30,000 tests in first five months of opportunistic screening

The Minister of Health, Julio García Comesaña, accompanied by the Director-General of Public Health, Carmen Durán Parrondo, announced this morning the results of the first five months of opportunistic screening carried out within the framework of the Hepatitis C Elimination Strategy, after more than 30,000 tests, early 38 positive cases were found. Thus, in less than 21 days after receiving a positive result, it is possible to start treatment and has proven to be more than 95% effective.

During an event on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day, Juan Turnes, Head of the Digestive System Unit at the Pontevedra University General Hospital, and Luis Morano, optional Internal Medicine Specialist of the Vigo Health District ( Luis Morano, who was also present at the event, said the head of the Ministry of Health that by offering a large number of people the possibility to participate in this screening, they will be able to detect hepatitis C early, using the same blood test as the upcoming one. another reason. “We focused on the age range of 40 to 69 years because it is estimated that this age group has a higher rate of undiagnosed positivity. data, about 500,000 of whom requested at least primary care analysis,” Comesaña explains how the opportunistic screening implemented in seven health domains is reaching the target population.

Screening of people born between 1963 and 1974 began this year under Galicia’s plan to eliminate hepatitis C. In 2024, the screening range is from 1954 to 1963, and in 2025, the screening range is from 1963 to 1974. Between 1974 and 1983. In this way, it aims to eliminate the disease in Galicia by 2026. “Galicia aspires to be a role model for the world, advancing the goal set by the World Health Organization to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030. We will advance this goal by four years, to 2026”, the Minister of Health promised.

As an innovation in these screenings, Servicio Galego de Saúde performed a pooled analysis of 100 people, taking advantage of the system’s success in detecting asymptomatic positives during a pandemic.

Furthermore, by the end of the year, hepatitis C testing will be included in early pregnancy control programs in all health sectors.

Likewise, this screening reaches high-risk groups through the mobile HIV prevention unit VIHxía móvil, which also uses the same blood samples for hepatitis C testing.

Committed to Public Health Prevention

Galicia’s hepatitis C elimination strategy follows Xunta’s approach to increasing investment in public health. In terms of screening, in the same year, Sergas expanded breast cancer detection, raised the maximum age of participation to 74, and extended early detection of cervical cancer to the whole of Galicia. In addition, the Galician public health system will incorporate three new newborn screenings in 2022, Became the autonomous region with the highest number of newborn tests in Spain.

c.This is an example of the value of prevention, the health minister noted, sinceCommitted to an early detection program for colon cancer, Between 2013 and 2021, nearly 2,000 invasive cancers were detected, most of them in early stages; and more than 16,700 precursor lesions that could become cancer.

With the same goal of health prevention, Comesaña highlighted Xunta’s vaccination campaign. “For the pediatric population, we supplement prophylaxis with one of the most ambitious vaccination programs in Europe, and the adherence rate also makes us proud of the awareness of families. In addition, according to the Ministry of Health, Galicia continues to have a significant increase in the memory of the elderly The head of the health department of Xunta said, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health on June 30, confirming that the booster dose vaccination rate in Galicia is 88.20% for people over 80 years old, and 70-79 years old. The vaccination rate of the population was 84.99%, and that of the 60-69-year-old population was 76.01%.

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