A national strategy for the elimination of hepatitis C virus as a public health threat in the Maltese islands 2018-2025: consultation document


On 14 February 2018, this national strategy for the elimination of the hepatitis C virus was launched for a 30-day public consultation period by Health Minister Chris Fearne. People who use drugs are mentioned as key population to be specifically targeted; prevention measures are clearly specified, but no PWID specific targets are defined. The strategy document does not include information on budget allocation. Early diagnosis and screening for high-risk groups will be introduced; about 200 patients are expected to be treated for free annually, treating everyone eventually. Before then, no standard procedures, protocols, or documents were available which address diagnosis, referral to treatment and provision of treatment to patients (incl. PWID) with hepatitis C in Malta. Treatment for Hepatitis C included interferon treatment (alone and in combination with ribavirin). Current drug users with chronic Hepatitis C were not eligible for treatment as abstinence and termination of methadone treatment for at least one year were required.

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