Brazil is the latest nation to launch a plan to eliminate hepatitis C virus (HCV) by 2030, a move that aligns the country with World Health Organization goals to reduce liver-disease-related mortality by 65 percent over the coming decades, Outbreak News Today reports.
The Brazilian Ministry of Health last week announced its plans to simplify diagnosis, expand testing and strengthen care and treatment initiatives nationwide. Hepatitis C is the most common form of viral hepatitis in the South American country, with an estimated incidence rate of 11.9 cases per 100,000 people, or approximately 0.71 percent of Brazil’s total population.
As part of the announcement, the director of Brazil’s Department of STI, HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis noted that the biggest challenge in the implementation of the plan would be tracking down those who don’t know their status as well as those who are already diagnosed but have not yet received treatment. The country hopes to treat 19,000 people this year and 50,000 per year starting in 2019. To that end, the Ministry of Health is in the process of acquiring 50,000 next-generation treatments. The country has already treated 76,500 patients since 2015.
By 2030, Brazil hopes to increase its diagnosis and treatment rates such that it reduces new HCV cases by 90 percent; it also hopes to test 100 percent of its at-risk population. The country’s Ministry of Health is also launching a social media campaign to educate its population about hepatitis C prevention to aid in the effort.