They “become infected” with hepatitis in front of the Ministry of Health

The Ministry of Health (MoH) today pleased the “Hristo Geshov” Foundation and several other non-governmental organizations, which are launching the “Hepatitis with Me” National Campaign. The campaign started with a symbolic pouring of yellow paint in front of the Ministry of Health to show how easily any person can get infected.

Minister Petar Moskov has undertaken to provide the foundation with a mobile laboratory within two months, with which volunteers can travel around the country and test for viral hepatitis free of charge. Funds will be sought under European programs for screening tests.

A hepatitis B and C screening kit costs BGN 6. In a laboratory, the test costs about BGN 40 for one type of hepatitis.

“For now, there is no way to do screening in hospitals. We will do it on the street. And people just don’t feel like going to hospitals. Seeing a laboratory in a market or square, they will stop for three minutes and examine themselves. The practice is that the positive results of the screening are sent to the regional hospitals, where the examination is paid for through a clinical pathway”, explained Hristo Geshov from the foundation of the same name, after his conversation with Minister Moskov.

Dr. Moskov has also promised to review the methodology for issuing treatment protocols – instead of every six months, they will be issued for one year. Each patient’s three-day hospital stay for protocol renewal may also be waived.

There are currently no official statistics on the number of hepatitis B and C carriers in Bulgaria. There is talk of 500,000 to 800,000 people.

The state allocates about BGN 4 million per quarter for the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis.

Mara KALCHEVA
Photos: Ivan GRIGOROV

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