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Min. Health: Duty to continue working to eliminate hepatitis and HIV

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    Υ&pi ;γεσσσομε ;ργζμαε γιειψη ηπτι ;δων κι HIV

    We have a duty to continue working with dedication and consistency, in order to achieve our common goal of eliminating viral hepatitis and HIV and protecting public health, explained the Minister of Health, Michalis Damianos.

    The Minister of Health participated on Friday in a press conference at the Ministry of Health presented by the Link of Patients Liver and >Friends of CyprusPrometheus” and the K.Y.F.A (Support Center for People Living With HIV/< strong>AIDS), announcing the information and public awareness campaign for Viral Hepatitis and HIV, on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day which is celebrated every year on July 28.

    In his intervention, the Minister of Health assured that the strengthening of health services is a priority for the Ministry of Health, indicating that it must be ensured that all citizens have equal access to quality health services for the diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.

    And he pointed out that “upgrading health infrastructure, strengthening human resources and continuous training of medical and nursing staff are of critical importance for the effective treatment of viral hepatitis and HIV”.

    As stressed, “we have a duty to continue working with dedication and consistency in order to achieve our common goal of eliminating viral hepatitis and HIV and protecting public health”.

    Specifically for HIV, Michalis Damianos said that the Ministry of Health remains committed to achieving and surpassing the revised goals of ending the epidemic, as set by the joint United Nations program on HIV and AIDS.

    “Based on these, 95% of people living with HIV know their diagnosis, among them, 95% access and receive antiretroviral treatment, and among those on treatment, 95% achieve viral suppression” he said, noting that for the Republic of Cyprus it is estimated that 92% of people living with HIV have been diagnosed and that among them, 94% have been connected to medical care and are receiving antiretroviral treatment of which 97% have achieve viral suppression.

    He then explained that with the aim of achieving and maintaining the above goals through updating the national strategy, the Ministry of Health proceeded with the reconstitution of the National AIDS Committee while at the same time standing by to help the problems of HIV-positive people.

    As noted, the prescription of antiretroviral drugs was recently revised with the introduction of modern therapeutic regimens and it was agreed to extend the prescription of antiretroviral treatment from two to three months with the main purpose of facilitating access to antiretroviral treatment and supporting compliance in receiving the treatment.

    < p>The Minister of Health also said that a National Action Plan has been drawn up for the eradication of the hepatitis C virus in Cyprus and a proposal has been submitted for the reconstitution of the National Coordinating Committee to deal with viral hepatitis which will have a mandate to implement the plan.

    But also that through the National Vaccination Program free vaccines for hepatitis A and B are provided, while all citizens of the Republic of Cyprus who are sick with HIV have free access to monitoring and treatment at the Gregory Clinic and Hepatitis patients at the Hepatological Clinics of OKYpY.

    Concluding, the Minister of Health expressed his gratitude to the Association of Liver Patients and Friends of Cyprus Prometheus, the Support Center for People Living with HIV/AIDS (KYFA) and all the health professionals who work tirelessly to fight these diseases. “Your dedication and efforts are invaluable and an inspiration to us all. Thanks to your contribution, we can hope for a future where viral hepatitis and HIV will no longer pose a threat to the health of our citizens,” he told them, finally calling on everyone to continue working with dedication and consistency in order to achieve the common goal to eliminate viral hepatitis and HIV and protect public health.

    For her part, the President of the Association of Liver Patients and Friends of Cyprus “Prometheus”, Giannoula Koullas, stated that viral hepatitis is the second leading cause of death among non-communicable diseases worldwide and that in 2022, deaths from viral hepatitis increased to 1 .3 million worldwide.

    As he stated, “Chronic viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver transplantation in the Western world as well as the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma worldwide”.

    And he explained that “for these reasons, the World Health Organization has set the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030. “This goal can be ambitious but also achievable with the right effort and cooperation,” he emphasized.

    < p>At the same time, Mrs. Kulla welcomed the establishment of a National Committee for viral hepatitis, while she emphasized the need for the creation of a national observatory, which will record the epidemiological data that will be taken into account in the decision-making process to define the administration framework medicines, patient access to appropriate treatments and patient follow-up. She also thanked the President of KYFA, Stella Michaelidou for the cooperation, the Pancypriot Medical Association and the Gastroenterology Society of Cyprus for supporting this important effort.

    For her part, the President of KYFA Stella Michaelidou, he emphasized that “through the collaboration there is an opportunity to join forces to inform the world about Hepatitis and especially about prevention”.

    He also mentioned the importance of vaccination against hepatitis B, as it is the most effective way to prevent infection.

    During the conference, the KYFA Checkpoint was presented, where those interested can arrange an appointment on the number 1464 for a free examination, while as mentioned the information campaign on viral hepatitis and HIV will culminate with the training day that will take place on July 26, 2024, in collaboration with the Office of the World Health Organization in Cyprus.

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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