Tag: Hepatitis C

How Rwanda is eliminating hepatitis C and what Canada can learn from its successes

Rwanda is a country situated in sub-Saharan, eastern Africa with a high population density: 499 people per square kilometre in 2018 and a population of 12.6 million people in 2019, an increase of 2.64% from 2018. Although it is among the poorest countries in the world and experienced a genocide against the Tutsi people in 1994, Rwanda has made immense progress in the fields of public health, achieving its Millennium Development Goals for population health, such as reduction of under-five mortality and maternal mortality.

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Moving beyond risk-based testing: Checklist for supporting hepatitis C birth cohort screening

British Columbia is the first province or territory in Canada to recommend one-time birth cohort screening for hepatitis C among people born from 1945 to 1965. This birth cohort has been identified as a key population that needs to be engaged into hepatitis C virus (HCV) care to reduce liver disease complications for several reasons: there are many undiagnosed cases of hepatitis C, they account for nearly 60% of positive hepatitis C results in B.C., and many people in this cohort have not received confirmatory HCV RNA testing.

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Talking about hepatitis C with immigrants and newcomers to Canada

In Canada, one in three people affected by hepatitis C was born outside of the country. Hepatitis C prevalence among Canadian immigrants and newcomers is double the overall Canadian prevalence. Research also shows that immigrants and newcomers experience worse health outcomes from viral hepatitis and liver cancer when compared to the Canadian-born population, including higher rates of hepatocellular carcinoma and mortality rates from viral hepatitis and liver cancer that are two to four times higher. Talking to Canadian immigrants about hepatitis C becomes very important given the fact that they are a population at risk of disease.

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Holding governments accountable: Canada’s progress on viral hepatitis elimination

In May 2021, Action Hepatitis Canada (AHC) released its Progress Toward Viral Hepatitis Elimination in Canada 2021 Report. Five years earlier, in May 2016, Canada had signed on to the World Health Organization’s (WHO) first-ever Global Viral Hepatitis Strategy with the goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. With both a cure for hepatitis C (HCV) and a vaccine for hepatitis B (HBV), this seemed to be a very realistic goal within a reasonable timeframe. But five years on, we had important questions about how Canada was really doing as time was ticking on.

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The elimination of viral hepatitis in Canada: Where are we now and where can we go?

At the last Canadian Liver Meeting in 2020, there was a palpable sense of optimism about the prospect of eliminating hepatitis C in Canada. Researchers, service providers and community members launched a blueprint outlining our collective goals and possible strategies, and we shared evidence from research and practice to guide policy and programs. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. It had an enormous impact on our sector, with services scaled back, researchers and clinicians shifted to the COVID-19 response, and the communities most affected by hepatitis C also facing increased risks from COVID-19 and a growing overdose crisis.

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The promise that the COVID-19 vaccine brings: A hepatitis C nurse’s perspective

Winding through the basement of the hospital, past the spin studio that has been closed for a long time, I follow the snaking line of people. I stand on my designated dot on the floor, a reminder of the physical distancing measures we’ve all grown accustomed to this past year. I go through registration, and then into another line, multiple staff directing me at every turn, ensuring we respect the space and flow in this most circuitous of marathons. I sit down beside a nurse, who goes through the consent form one last time, as she picks up the needle...

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