The Digestive System unit of the Costa del Sol Hospital today carried out an awareness campaign aimed at the population with the aim of informing about hepatitis C, its diagnosis, screening and treatment. With this initiative, it joins the celebration of the ‘Hepatic Diseases Week’ in Andalusia organized by the Spanish Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AEEH).
To this end, an information table has been set up in the entrance hall of the hospital’s main hall, between 10:00 and 12:00, attended by professionals from this service with which they intend to raise awareness of the importance of this pathology. In this sense, the coordinator of this activity, a specialist in the digestive system of this center, José Miguel Rosales, has highlighted that “it is an action that aims to make this pathology visible and thus make the population in general aware that Liver diseases have preventable causes in many cases and that early diagnosis is essential to prevent their progression.
This campaign is also reinforced by the dissemination of the different messages through social networks, posters, the media, the web and internal communication tools (internal digital magazine, desktop wallpapers, Intranet).
During this day, this table explained through an infographic that, in turn, was distributed to users, what hepatitis C is, how it can be spread, what happens if a person develops this pathology and how it is diagnosed, how it can be cured and who should be tested for hepatitis C. In addition, this space has provided rapid saliva tests that people have been offered to do on a voluntary basis. With this test, the presence of antibodies can be detected so that, if the result is positive, the professionals themselves facilitate an appointment for a blood draw and thus check whether or not they have the infection. If the blood sample confirms the infection, the service itself also makes an appointment for evaluation and treatment.
Liver Disease Week is celebrated from this Monday, October 17 until tomorrow, Friday 21, and the AEEH has organized a regional project with activities (information tables for the population, scientific round tables, colloquiums in schools, meetings at street level) in different health centers in all Andalusian provinces. In fact, throughout these days, the experts have presented conclusions on the approach to the different liver diseases, at the same time that they have debated the new challenges and solutions for these pathologies.
About hepatitis C
The experts highlight the need to update the epidemiological data and create a strategic plan for the elimination of hepatitis C at the regional and national levels to achieve the goal of eliminating the disease by 2030 set by the World Health Organization (WHO). . In this sense, they estimate that “there are still about 1,500 infected patients to be treated in Andalusia, although it is a very silent disease, so the figure to be treated would not be static.”
Hepatitis C data at Hospital Costa del Sol
The Digestive System Service of Hospital Costa del Sol has a liver disease unit for the care of patients with these pathologies, both in terms of specific hepatology consultations, liver cancer screening, hospitalization for acute or decompensated cases, as well as a specific scheduled care unit in a day hospital regimen for patients with advanced decompensated liver diseases.
Since the arrival of direct-acting antivirals in 2015, more than 1,000 patients with hepatitis C have been treated in this unit, achieving cure rates of over 98%, all in collaboration with the Microbiology department, which was one of the the first to implement the diagnosis in a single step in Andalusia, which speeds up the diagnosis of the infection and access to treatment, carrying out joint strategies to reach the objective of the World Health Organization of ending hepatitis by 2030 viral as a health problem.
In addition, professionals from this unit have actively participated in the development of the recently approved Plan for the elimination of Hepatitis C in Andalusia.