NGO: no statistics kept on hepatitis c in Armenia

NGO: no statistics kept on hepatitis c in Armenia

YEREVAN, July 25. /ARKA/. A number of Armenia’s non-governmental organizations held protests Wednesday to draw the government’s attention to people diseased with hepatitis C, ahead of the day of struggle against hepatitis C observed on July 28 every year.

The ministry of health arranged a meeting and informed that no statistics is currently kept about people diseased with hepatitis C, unlike those with hepatitis A and B, head of Armenian network of positive people non-governmental organization Anu Harutiunyan told reporters.

For the time being, the ministry is only planning to make respective changes, she said.
“No figures, no people, no problem”, founder of “Real world, real people” NGO Hovhannes Madoyan said.

Madoyan said they do not have data about the number of the diseased with hepatitis C, yet a poll among drug addict risk group revealed 80% of them are sick with the hepatitis C.
The NGOs said the state keeps silent about the problem and the diseased do the same due to high costs of the treatment.

Harutiunyan said annual treatment with Hoffman-La Roche drugs costs 16,000 dollars in Armenia, a price that no average Armenian citizen can afford.

The activists held their protest at the representation of the drug maker in Armenia. They also had a meeting with Hoffman-La Roche reps and discussed problems of the diseased with hepatitis C in Armenia.

Madoyan said pharmaceutical companies not only paid back their expenditures, but also had excess profits over the years.

Hepatitis C is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver, caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). The infection is often asymptomatic, but chronic infection can lead to scarring of the liver and ultimately to cirrhosis, which is generally apparent after many years. –0--

12:27 25.07.2013

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