Kuwaiti healthcare experts advancing new pathways leading to eradication of Hepatitis C (HCV) among diabetic patients
Kuwait, May 8, 2019: On the continuation efforts towards free Kuwait of HCV leading Kuwaiti primary care physicians and diabetologists gathered in Kuwait at the first session of the Pro-Tect program ‘HCV: Toward cure among high risk populations’ to discuss gaps and barriers in care models for most at risk population.
The Pro-Tect program organized by Gilead Sciences was endorsed by the Kuwaiti Gastroenterology Association focuses on educating physicians who are treating diabetic patients to suspect and diagnose HCV among this patient population.
Key topics addressed at the session were Interrelations between HCV and Type 2 Diabetes; HCV burden and value of cure, simplification of HCV treatment and clinical case studies.
Key speakers at the event included Dr. Fuad Hassan, Professor at the Department of Medicine, Kuwait University, Dr. Abeer Algharabally, Consultant Internist, Hepatologist and Transplant physician, head of Thunayan Al-Ghanim Gastroenterology Centre, Kuwait, Dr. Abdulnabi Alattar, Consultant Diabetologist, Head of Diabetes Department , Al-Amiri Hospital and Dr. Salem El Shemmari, Chief & Consultant Gastroenterology, Adan Hospital, Kuwait. This activity was endorsed by Kuwait Gastroenterology association.
In 2016, the World Health Assembly adopted the first global health sector strategy on viral hepatitis, setting targets for the elimination of viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.
The strategy was endorsed by 194 countries, including Kuwait. At the end of 2018, the EASL International Liver Foundation convened key Kuwaiti experts and stakeholders in a half-day expert panel meeting with the main aim of identifying the successes, gaps and barriers to HCV elimination in Kuwait and to determine unified recommendations to facilitate and expedite elimination in the country.
The Eastern Mediterranean region, of which Kuwait is a part, has the highest estimated prevalence rate (2.3%) globally, equating to approximately 15 million people chronically infected With the exceptions of Egypt and Pakistan, which carry the largest burden, the HCV prevalence in other countries in the region is relatively low (approximately 1%), which is comparable to most countries globally.
HCV prevalence in Kuwait is consistent with this figure, with an estimated prevalence of 0.8% in Kuwaiti nationals; however, the prevalence is estimated to be considerably higher in expatriates (5.4%), who constitute a sizeable percentage of the population.
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