Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Program to fight hepatitis C

Program to fight hepatitis C

A doctor consults with a patient about hepatitis C treatment yesterday afternoon at Phnom Penh’s Preah Kossamak Hospital.
A doctor consults with a patient about hepatitis C treatment yesterday afternoon at Phnom Penh’s Preah Kossamak Hospital. Yesenia Amaro

Program to fight hepatitis C

As of yesterday, a new program in Cambodia aimed at helping diagnose and treat people with hepatitis C – free of charge – had already seen about 500 patients in Phnom Penh in the course of less than a month, organisers said.

Médecins sans Frontières is working with the Ministry of Health on the new program, which will eventually expand to other parts of the country, according to Christophe Biteau, head of mission for MSF.

Under the program, a new clinic has been set up at Preah Kossamak Hospital, where patients are tested and will receive the 12-week treatment.

“We see in many hospitals . . . that a lot of people die from hepatitis C,” said Dr Chhit Dimanche, of Preah Kossamak. “We will reduce the mortality rate.”

There is a lack of data on the exact rate of incidence for the blood-borne virus and its mortality rate in the Kingdom, so the new program will also “provide important epidemiological and clinical information about [hepatitis C] and the genotypes circulating in Cambodia”, said Dr Laurent Ferradini with WHO Cambodia, which is also working with the ministry on the disease.

After receiving ineffective treatment in the past, patient Chi Pirum, 31, yesterday said she had renewed hope of beating the illness thanks to the free treatment. “I’m so happy,” she said through a translator, adding that she had spent a lot of money on treatment before.

In 2013, hepatitis was blamed for 1.46 million deaths worldwide, according to the WHO.

A previous version of this article misspelled the name of Dr Chhit Dimanche.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all