UN health agency issues guidelines on Hepatitis C treatmentListen /
The World Health Organization (WHO) has issued its first ever guidelines for the screening, care and treatment of hepatitis C which results in liver damage.
The agency says the chronic infection affects approximately 130 million people and results in up to 500,000 deaths a year.
It is hoped the guidelines will enable standardized treatment across the world which will ultimately save lives.
Dr. Stefan Wiktor is the Team Leader of the Global Hepatitis Programme at WHO.
"Regarding care, we know that it can be decades from the time of infection with Hepatitis C until somebody needs treatment, and during that time there is different things that individuals can do to slow the progression of the liver damage and one of them is to avoid drinking or to reduce the alcoholic intake. Regarding treatment we make a strong recommendation that all persons, including those who inject drugs should be assessed for Hepatitis C treatment, and finally, there are recommendations for all the currently approved medicines and guidance on how those medicines should be used." (28")
WHO says the publication of its guidelines for Hepatitis C treatment coincides with the availability of more effective and safer oral hepatitis medicines and the promise of even more new medicines in the next few years.
Derrick Mbatha, United Nations.