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QRCS Raises Awareness Against Hepatitis C in Qatar
June 17th, 2017 ― Doha: Since the beginning of Ramadan, Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS) has held health education activities at various malls and public attractions, under the programme launched jointly with AbbVie Biopharmaceuticals GmbH in April 2017 to raise awareness about hepatitis C in Qatar. June 17th, 2017 ― Doha: Since the beginning of Ramadan, Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS) has held health education activities at various malls and public attractions, under the programme launched jointly with AbbVie Biopharmaceuticals GmbH in April 2017 to raise awareness about hepatitis C in Qatar. The programme is under the patronage of Qatar's Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), as part of the National hepatitis C Control Campaign. Over the holy month, QRCS medics were present during evening time at malls, recreational centers, and other widely visited places to communicate with the public, inform them about hepatitis C risks and how to prevent it, most importantly by regular family and servant examinations for early detection. Among the locations where you can find the campaign's team are City Center, Al-Khor Mall, The Mall, Al-Asmakh Mall, Landmark, Doha Festival City, Hyatt Plaza, and Mall of Qatar. Also, the activities include free-of-charge medical tests, fundraising for coverage of low-income expatriate patients, and hepatitis C information on social media. Dr. Moutaz Derbala, Gastroenterology Section, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC), said Qatar is one of the world's first responders to hepatitis C virus (HCV), with a plan for zero hepatitis C in Qatar by 2020. According to research by HMC in 2013, the prevalence of HCV among nationals was 0.8% and residents 2%. In 2016, a comprehensive survey was conducted in cooperation with AbbVie and MoPH. With more than 7,000 examinees covered, the results showed lower infection rates (0.2% for nationals and 1% for residents). In 2016, 500 cases were treated for free, said Dr. Derbala. In April 2017, a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed with QRCS to cover the costs of treatment for poor hepatitis C patients and to promote hepatitis C preventive practices. "Since the inauguration of the campaign, we have successfully treated 1,000 cases, including those with dialysis and liver transplants. Now, they can enjoy a normal life. I would like to thank QRCS and AbbVie for helping make an enormous difference in the lives of those poor patients and bring them healthy again," he concluded.