This July 28th is celebrated world hepatitis day. Spain is one of the countries best positioned to achieve elimination of hepatitis C by 2030, one of the goals set by the World Health Organization (WHO).he Dr Manuel RomeroPresident of the Spanish Association for the Study of the Liver (acute cerebral infarction), the address in the interview health management Milestones achieved in recent years Eliminate Hepatitis C And the number of people living with the disease in our country who are not yet receiving treatment. Additionally, it highlights the importance of the hospital accreditation process in “Excellence in Execution of the Ten Commandments to Eliminate Hepatitis Cwhich started this year. “Accreditation in world-class Spanish hepatology is very important‘, he emphasized.
“Great milestone that eliminating hepatitis C is possible”
What have been the major milestones in the elimination of hepatitis C in recent years?
The biggest milestone is that removal is possible. This was a pipe dream ten years ago, and now we are on the verge of making it happen. All this, thanks to the stage performance of many actors, many people playing completely different roles, who did not think of the pyramid scheme indicated from above, but the perfect assembly of all parts made us who we are now. Envision eradicating this dreadful disease.
How many people with hepatitis C remain untreated?
One of the most important exercises in the crystal ball is to ask how many are in the crystal ball. Indeed, the study we did was relatively small. The percentages given by these studies, when transferred to the general population, give the impression of being real. But when you look at day-to-day work and what everyone has to manage, it’s hard to figure out the exact numbers.
When we started counting the data on hepatitis C treatment, we thought there were probably about 400,000 Hispanics in need of treatment. At present, more than 160,000 cases have been cured, so the target number we want to solve in 2015 may be around 200,000. In Spain, 20,000-30,000 patients still need to be treated and cured. But that’s still just guesswork, because numbers move easily between different groups, whether by hospital or even by province or community.
“There should be another 20,000-30,000 patients in Spain who need to be treated and cured”
For example, in Andalusia we have a healthy population base. This means that all medical records of anyone who passes through an Andalusian public center are included in the database. Although we only have 8.5 million Andalusians, we have over 15 million records. Among those 15 million records, we can find out who has hepatitis C. A base analysis of healthy populations that we do in a research project may finally clarify this number precisely, in the case of the Andalusians, who may be waiting to eliminate hepatitis C. I figured that if we extrapolate to Spain, we could be somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 at most.
This year, the hospital accreditation process for “Excellent Implementation of the Ten Commandments to Eliminate Hepatitis C” has been launched. What is included in the process?
It is an absolutely essential element because it lays out in a clear, precise and focused manner what must be considered to eliminate hepatitis C in a hospital or health sector. Fortunately, in Spain there is a lot of evidence of how we must do things, and we will demonstrate it through this Ten Commandments. We will demonstrate whether the hospital has done its homework correctly and is considering searching and finding patients who may be hiding. We always have a good goal”The patient is found, the patient is cured, and the patient no longer belongs to the problem group“.
“It is an absolutely essential element because it lays out in a clear, precise and focused way what needs to be considered to eliminate hepatitis C at hospital or health district level”
So I think it is very important for Spanish Hepatology, a world-class hepatology, to be certified. Documenting in the external audit that we’re doing things the way we should be doing them, we’re going to address key points of elimination in every hospital, every health sector, every province, every community, and of course, from across the country.
In addition, other activities such as the FaCilita project have also been launched, can you describe what this project is and how it can help eliminate hepatitis C?
In order to detect hepatitis C, we need a test. It’s very easy for someone with access to the system because I request a one-time antibody study and hepatitis C analysis, and at minimal cost, it lets me know if I need treatment. But there are many people who are outside the system, with limited or no access at all.
The purpose of this program is to promote access to diagnostic tests that allow us to know whether a person has hepatitis C. We have already said that you must be tested at least once in your life. But if we don’t have access to the health center, through the FaCilita program, we can diagnose the patient so we can deliver the treatment on time.
“Many people outside the system have limited or no access to testing. This program aims to facilitate access to diagnostic tests that allow us to know whether a person has hepatitis C”
Do you think Spain will achieve the goal set by the World Health Organization to eliminate hepatitis C?
Yes, we presented the experience of 2017-2018, we think we can end hepatitis C by the second year. But here comes the pandemic, which leaves some unanswered questions. I will not admit defeat. By 2030, we will seek to reduce the death rate from hepatitis C by more than 65%, and we have almost achieved it. We will reduce more than 90% of new cases of hepatitis C and treat more than 80% of those diagnosed, I would say more than 90% and 95%.