Comparison of prevention, screening and treatment of hepatitis C in Iran, Egypt and Georgia
|Hasan Abolghasem Gorji|
|Nicola Luigi Bragazzi|
AbstractHepatitis C virus (HCV) infection represents one of the major public health challenges worldwide. HCV is a blood-borne pathogen associated with a high rate of mortality and imposes a dramatic societal and economic burden on health systems. Untreated chronic HCV infection can progress to liver cirrhosis and cancer. Lessons can be learned from countries such as Egypt and Georgia that are considered to be ‘on-track’ for the World Health Organization HCV elimination targets, as well as countries such as Iran that are ‘working towards elimination’. This article compares HCV-related policies and strategies in Iran, Egypt and Georgia to identify programme strengths and limitations that could inform policy and decision makers in Iran. Controlling and eliminating HCV remain a serious public health challenge. The rising HCV incidence could generate a dramatic economic burden in the coming years. Therefore, Iran requires a strategic plan to fight HCV. Adequate cultural and social infrastructures are needed. Centres specifically devoted to the diagnosis and management of this infection should be used for screening and delivery of inexpensive and high-quality testing. Quick initiation of treatment should take place at lower costs to facilitate access to treatment.