20 Mar 2018
Medical Republic Profile: Happy anniversary! … you missed a spot
The National Viral Hepatitis Mapping Project was profiled this week by The Medical Republic. The article, written by Ruby Prosser Scully, highlights that on the second anniversary since the government subsidised the revolutionary treatments for hepatitis C, tens of thousands of individuals were able to become free of the chronic disease. However, major disparities in treatment rates across the country have been revealed by the first national mapping project of prevalence and treatment of the disease.
The article interviewed a number of practitioners on how they intend to use the report and the impact that the report will have on improving clinical service delivery and having some objective evidence and objective parameters to articulate and advocate for improved resources.
Associate Professor Benjamin Cowie, who is director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Viral Hepatitis at the Doherty Institute and helped develop the mapping project, said “One of the really fundamental reasons we wanted to produce this report is to start having those conversations about equity and access across the country… If you’re getting some parts of the country where more than double the proportion of people living with hepatitis C are receiving treatment than others, it means there are clear opportunities for improvement and lessons to be learned.”
Professor Greg Dore, head of the Viral Hepatitis Clinical Research Program at the Kirby Institute, discussed the importance of the report and said that “It matters in the sense that if you’re truly trying to get complete control of the epidemic, as far as both stopping people dying from advanced liver disease complications and stopping ongoing transmission, you need a pretty uniform coverage to get the maximum potential benefit.”
Infectious disease specialist Dr Jane Davies the clinical lead for viral hepatitis at the Royal Darwin Hospital, said that the reports will be massively helpful in her work, because ultimately “information is power.”
Read the article in full, online here.