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The C Watcher Hepatitis C Program seeks to help people live a better life

United Arab Emirates: Tuesday, June 09 - 2009 @ 13:44

The “Act Now, Live Better” campaign encourages people through a number of risk factors to assess whether they may have the hidden disease of Hepatitis C.

About 180m people worldwide are infected with the Hepatitis C disease which is a potentially serious condition that if left untreated, could kill over the course of 20 years.

The Hepatitis C virus transmitted through infected blood affects and damages the liver over a period of time and in some cases many of the infected persons may not be aware of the fact they are indeed carrying this disease until permanent damage has been done to the liver.

The good news for patients is that with the C WATCHER program, it is now possible for people to go through a free blood test to determine whether they are carrying this disease or not.

‘Today we want to encourage people to assess whether they fall within one of the disease’s risk factors and visit one of our partner labs to determine whether they carry the virus. In many cases now, Hepatitis C can be successfully treated.’

said Sherief Rizk, business unit director at Hoffmann-La Roche in the UAE.

Hoffmann-La Roche in cooperation with Emirates Gastroenterology Society has launched the ‘C WATCHER program’ on May 29, 2009. The C WATCHER is an integrated program aiming to facilitate the wellness of those affected by (Hepatitis C) through well designed activities of awareness, education and services.

The C Watcher activities include:

1. Awareness booklet distribution in medical institutions and main public area in UAE, includes all the information about hepatitis C as well as the main risk factors.
2. Distributing a free voucher along with (Are you at risk?) questionnaire for high risk population for free HCV anti-body test.
3. Radio advertisements highlighting the risk factors and the importance of testing.
4. Television interviews with health care professionals to highlight the mode of transmission and the importance of treatment.
5. Trained ‘Patients Services Coordinators’ to answer the public and patients queries through a toll free number 800 40 38.
6. A dedicated website (www.cwatcher.ae).
7. Healthcare professional’s CME programs.
8. Fund raising activities.

The latest research has shown that clinical cure is in fact an achievable result for many patients with hepatitis C. The use of Roche’s Pegasys, in combination with Copegus (ribavirin), has led to significant improvements in the number of patients achieving a cure (known as sustained virological response, or SVR, whereby the virus is still undetectable in patients’ blood six months after they finish treatment).

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Tuesday, June 9- 2009 @ 13:44 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.

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