Health Systems Strengthening, Improving Treatment Access, Health Service Delivery Essential To Addressing Hepatitis C, Other Infectious Diseases
Washington Post: We can cure hepatitis C. But we’re now making the same mistake we did with AIDS.
Neil Gupta, instructor at Harvard Medical School and clinical director at Partners in Health, and Paul Farmer, professor at Harvard University, infectious disease physician at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and co-founder of Partners in Health
“…How can patients benefit from a cure if there is no testing available or if financial or geographic barriers prevent them from even reaching a health facility? This problem, of course, is not unique to hepatitis C. Inadequate or absent health systems have facilitated the explosive spread of cholera, Ebola, and drug-resistant tuberculosis. … [F]ar more needs to be done to build and rehabilitate broken — or nonexistent — health systems. Without them, we’re poorly equipped to fight other diseases, such as hepatitis C. Efforts are underway in several low- and middle-income countries … to test and treat neglected populations for hepatitis C and simplify care delivery. Such work is at the cutting edge of broadening global access to the now-available therapeutics. But it’s only the first step. Friday, as we mark World Hepatitis Day, let’s commit to learning from the past and to delivering on the promise of science and medicine to the benefit of those in need of them both” (7/28).