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.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • New US bill ‘is a violation of Cambodian independence’

    After a US congressmen introduced bipartisan legislation that will enact sanctions on Cambodian officials responsible for “undermining democracy” in the Kingdom, government officials and the ruling Cambodian People’s Party on Sunday said they regarded the potential action as the “violation of independence and sovereignty

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman