Public health to take new action to detect and diagnose hepatitis


Public health to take new action to detect and diagnose hepatitis

Within the framework of World Hepatitis Day, the Minister of Public Health Karina Rando announced that PCR testing to confirm hepatitis C cases will be mandatory. Moreover, she assured, this inclusion is a milestone in the field of diagnostics and allows for greater testing. therapeutic range. Also included were healthy controls with at least one lifetime disease serology assay.

world hepatitis day

During the event at the headquarters of the Ministry of Public Health (MSP), José Luis Satdjian, Undersecretary in Charge; Renée Diverio, Director of the Agency’s Sexually Transmitted Infections HIV/AIDS Program and the Global Alliance to Eliminate Hepatitis Assessment of Hepatitis to Expand Testing and Treatment ( HEAT) project representatives Victoria Mainardi and Solange Gerona.

Landau noted at the time that chronic hepatitis B and C are silent diseases with late symptoms. He added that preventive measures such as highly effective hepatitis B vaccines and antiretroviral treatment have encouraged the World Health Organization (WHO) to set a goal of eliminating the disease by 2030. “This requires 90% of those infected to be diagnosed and 80% of those diagnosed to be treated,” he noted.

In Uruguay, the number of notifications received by health surveillance authorities in 2022 is 388 for hepatitis B virus and 244 for hepatitis C virus. In addition, sequelae account for 15% of liver transplant operations performed in our country.

High levels define hepatitis C as a disease that is curable with short-term treatment (12 to 24 weeks), with a cure rate of over 95%. Coverage is through the National Resource Fund, with universal coverage from 2019; coverage for non-responders added in 2022.

Actions taken include the first national survey of hepatitis B and C under the responsibility of the National Liver Transplant Program to expand testing and treatment to diagnose the status of the disease and its projections for decades to come.

Likewise, to improve strategic information, MSP developed a new case definition for hepatitis C. In this sense, Rando reports, the suspect was identified serologically only by a chain reaction test for polymerase (PCR).

The leadership announced that, in order to expand diagnostic coverage, serological testing for hepatitis C at least once in a lifetime and semi-annually when risk factors are present in the researched person will also be included in the health check.

“The Department of Public Health’s commitment is to continue to work on prevention and diagnostics,” Landau said, also announcing the confirmation that PCR testing will be made mandatory for confirmed cases of hepatitis C. This inclusion, he assured, is a milestone in the field of diagnostics and allows for the greatest range of treatments.

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