The need to think differently to combat the epidemic of Hepatitis C

Carlos Varaldo Group Chairman Optimism Support Carrier of Hepatitis.

Carlos Varaldo Optimism is president of Group Support Carrier of Hepatitis.
Carlos Varaldo Optimism is president of Group Support Carrier of Hepatitis.

Confronting the epidemic depends purely and exclusively from the pen of health minister.

If diagnosed 100% of people infected with hepatitis C and these patients received treatment with new drugs already exist, we achieve a possibility of cure approximately 80% considering all genotypes and thus could reduce liver-related deaths by 70%. The calculation accepted by the international scientific community was published in the journal Gastroenterology (Davis GL, et al. Gastroenterology. 2010, 138:513-521). This means that approximately 30 million deaths would be avoided in the world within two decades.

Last month, the World Health Organization released data on the highest rates of individuals infected with hepatitis C in some countries, stating that in Egypt 22% of the population is infected, Pakistan 4.8% and China 3.2%. In Brazil, a national survey conducted by the health ministry in state capitals, found between 1.38% and 1.56% prevalence which is, to expand to the whole of Brazil, an estimate between 2.6 and 3 million Brazilians infected with hepatitis C worse, 95% have not yet been diagnosed, unaware that they are ill.

According to calculations published in the journal Gastroenterology, diagnosis and treatment of those infected would prevent millions of Brazilians, between 430,000 and 500,000 deaths from hepatitis C complications such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.

The numbers even more impressive when compared to those infected with the AIDS epidemic. The estimated infected with the AIDS virus in Brazil is 600,000 people. The number of people infected with hepatitis C is five times bigger!

Interestingly, hepatitis C is the care of the Department STD / AIDS ministry of health, but despite being a five times larger epidemic than AIDS resources are allocated four times smaller, resulting in a framework of government attention alarming lacking strategic vision and apparent disregard for disease. Currently, 1 out of every 3 infected with AIDS receive treatment, while among those infected with hepatitis C only 1 in 260 infected receive treatment.

Data from the World Health Organization are alarming and the Brazilian government should take the necessary measures to control the epidemic of Hepatitis C in the country. We can not accept that 10 years after the creation of a national hepatitis number of patients on treatment can not increase considerably. The insignificant number of infected people on treatment in the country drop any explanation that may be given by federal managers. The gerund explanation can no longer be accepted.

It is urgent and necessary to the minister Padilha take the political decision to face the biggest epidemic plaguing the Brazilian people. The creation of an independent working group reports directly to his office, to conduct a strategic plan to fight the epidemic and also to audit and monitor the results achieved by those responsible for its implementation, may be the way to break the paradigms that paralyze the current management.

The minister Padilha should follow the teachings of Albert Einstein to be able to change the current lethargy in confronting the epidemic of hepatitis C, which wisely taught that in order to change a situation of paralysis "a new type of thinking is essential ..." and this new kind of thinking depends purely and exclusively the power of the pen's health minister.