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Source: Hong Kong Information Services

Secretary for Food & Health Prof Sophia Chan today announced Hong Kong’s first viral hepatitis action plan to achieve the World Health Organization’s goal to eliminate the major public health threat posed by viral hepatitis by 2030.

Prof Chan highlighted two new initiatives under the plan at a press conference today.

She said antiviral treatments will be used for preventing the mother-to-child transmission of human papillomavirus (HPV) and post vaccination serological testing will be introduced with a view to realising an HPV-free generation.

Prof Chan estimated that about 3,000 infants would require serology testing every year.

Access to Hepatitis C treatment would also be expanded, she added.

“Other highlights of the report are the expansion of access to treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) and an additional $70 million in recurrent funding has been allocated by the Hospital Authority since 2019-20, with a total recurrent budget of around $120 million for acquiring direct-acting antivirals, which is expected to cover the treatment costs for about 1,700 hepatitis C patients every year.

“So, these treatments can clear HCV in more than 90% of the cases.

“I think that not only does this help to achieve the goal of eliminating hepatitis C, but it will also have a positive, far-reaching impact on our patients.”

MIL OSI Asia Pacific News