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AKIPRESS.COM - The United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) has issued its first guidelines for the treatment of hepatitis C, a chronic infection that affects an estimated 130 million to 150 million people, in a bid to help improve access to more effective and safer medicines to those who need them.
“The new guidance aims to help countries to improve treatment and care for hepatitis and thereby reduce deaths from liver cancer and cirrhosis,” Dr. Stefan Wiktor, leading WHO’s Global Hepatitis Programme, said in a news release.
The publication of the guidelines coincides with the availability of more effective and safer oral hepatitis medicines, along with the promise of even more new medicines in the next few years, to tackle a disease that results in 350,000 to 500,000 deaths a year.
WHO will be working with countries to introduce the guidelines as part of their national treatment programmes. The agency’s support will include assistance to make the new treatments available and consideration of all possible avenues to make them affordable for all, as well as an assessment of the quality of hepatitis laboratory tests and generic forms of hepatitis medicines, the UN News Centre said.