Morocco plans to eradicate Hepatitis C by 2026

October 2, 2017 Off By Web Desk

Rabat (IINA) � As Hepatitis C has become a major public health concern worldwide, Morocco aspires to eradicate the deadly virus within the next nine years, reported Maghreb Arab Press (MAP).

Patients with hepatitis C in Morocco represent 1.2 percent of the population. Most of the patients are unaware of their infection, according to the ministry of health. The infectious disease can develop gradually and slowly, which might increase complications in patients.

The virus can also lead to permanent liver scarring (cirrhosis) or liver cancer. An infected person can begin to show symptoms of the illness anywhere from six weeks to six months after their initial infection.

Symptoms include fever, fatigue, vomiting, and nausea, low to no appetite, dark urine, and jaundice.

Drug addicts (injection users), patients with sexually transmitted diseases, and people with kidney failure are likely to be the groups at highest risk for Hepatitis C. It can be transmitted through blood transfusion and unsafe injection practices.

The virus can cause acute viral hepatitis ranging from a mild form that might last few weeks to a severe case that could last a lifetime.

Morocco plans to curb the disease through a new plan of action to be implemented between 2017 and 2021. The strategy, which was developed by the Ministry of Health, aims to eradicate the disease by providing effective treatments for acute and chronic hepatitis C.

The new national program will focus on five phases: providing a diagnostic examination for hepatitis C, providing treatments, preventing infections, governance, and partnership, and providing strategic information on viral hepatitis publicly, Morocco World News reported.

Recent advances in the number of treatments available for hepatitis viruses give patients hope for getting rid of the disease. The chances of recovery from hepatitis C had doubled in Morocco since 2015 when Sofosbuvir medicines began to be sold in Morocco.

This medication helps 95 percent of patients in Morocco regardless of the severity of the disease. The National Health Insurance Agency has, therefore, included Sofosbuvir on the list of medicines that are eligible for reimbursement in order to make access to hepatitis C medicine possible.

Source: International Islamic News Agency