Casablanca - Morocco has announced its plan to wipe out the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) by 2030. According to director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Administration, Abderrahman Maâroufi, this will be accomplished mainly through a new national plan recently launched by the Health Ministry. Maaroufi made the statement on Monday in Casablanca.
Casablanca – Morocco has announced its plan to wipe out the Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) by 2030. According to director of the Epidemiology and Disease Control Administration, Abderrahman Maâroufi, this will be accomplished mainly through a new national plan recently launched by the Health Ministry. Maaroufi made the statement on Monday in Casablanca.
During a panel on Hepatitis C, a discussion entitled ”What Measures Should be Taken in 2017?” was initiated as part of the first meeting on “Menafrica-Health.” Maâroufi explained that the program aims to eliminate HCV as a public health problem in accordance with the sustainable development’s orientations and goals. He also noted that the Health Ministry is set to launch this program in different facilities across the kingdom.
The plan is based on five main axes. These include active screening of HCV among the population most exposed to the disease and providing health care to screened people and promoting prevention of disease transmission. Also included in the strategy, is information development and the creation of a monitoring system to track the impact and implementation of the plan at a national level. A national committee of coordination and governance will also be created as part of this strategic plan, Maâroufi noted.
He added that this new plan of attack is meant to provide low-cost care and treatment for those affected. It will be provided courtesy of the Medical Insurance Plan for the Financially Underprivileged (RAMED) as well as through the marketing of generic drugs (Sofosbuvir for instance).
The Menafrica-Health meeting will also include conferences on topics such as Infectious diseases: Challenges and Expectations, Access to good quality drugs, Educational Training for Jobs Dealing with Drugs and Transfer of Technology, The Pharmaceutical Market in the African World, and lastly, Controlling the Quality of a Drug: The Necessity and Role of a National Laboratory for Drug Control.
According to an article published in the Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare in November of 2016, Morocco determined to make the eradication of HepC a national priority back in 2012. To that end, it put into play a budget of MAD 65 million to create a program of access to effective HepC treatment for the population’s most vulnerable sectors.
According to the Borgen Project’s October 2016 blog, although modern medical facilities are certainly available in Morocco, rural locations continue to suffer from an absence to easy access of quality medical care. Access to safe drinking water, a particular concern regarding the spread of HepC, is also still a serious issue for large segments of the rural Moroccan population. It makes HepC an “extremely endemic” problem for the Kingdom.
Organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and USAID have provided funding for portable water supplies and vaccinations, as well as better access to medical care.
The United States had pledged to give USD 33,500,000 to help Morocco combat the top diseases facing the country. It’s unclear what, if any, effect the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency will have on that pledge.
One thing that is clear to most observers is that Morocco’s aggressive approach to fighting diseases has a proven track record of success. In 2010, they were able to announce that the Kingdom had eradicated Malaria.
With Morocco’s tourism industry bourgeoning, there is concern to not only alleviate the suffering of the Moroccan people afflicted with the disease, but also protect visitors as well.
According to International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers (IAMAT), Hepatitis C is a viral infection which causes inflammation in the liver. An infected person can begin to show symptoms of the illness anywhere from six weeks to six months after their initial infection. Symptoms include fever, fatigue, vomiting and nausea, low to no appetite, dark urine and jaundice.
Over many years, it can also develop into a chronic infection that can, in turn, bring on cirrhosis of the liver or liver cancer after many years. There is currently no preventative medicine or vaccine against HepC.