In preparation for World Hepatitis Day, celebrated globally on the 28th July 2019, Ministry of Health Malaysia with its collaboration partners Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) will ensure that all Malaysians have the opportunity to be tested and treated for Hepatitis C (if found positive) for free. This initiative is the biggest national screening event ever attempted by our Government and will play a significant role in our Hepatitis C elimination efforts towards 2030. This initiative will also help to support and accelerate the scale-up activities of Hepatitis C screening in-country.
The Ministry is hopeful that this campaign will help us to provide the public with this ‘test-and-treat’ opportunity that will span from 15th July to 21st July 2019. We have shortlisted over 100 specially designated screening sites in hospitals and primary healthcare centres (including 25 FIND study sites https://www.finddx.org/).
There is an estimated 400,000 people infected with the disease in Malaysia and in order for us to eliminate Hepatitis C, we urge all Malaysians to get tested and treated for this blood-borne disease. Hepatitis C is very difficult to detect because it shows no symptoms until at a later stage. We want all Malaysians to understand the risk factors for Hepatitis C so that we can tackle the health burden in this country and prevent new cases from occurring.
All Malaysians are invited to take advantage of this opportunity to be screened in any of the selected sites across Malaysia. The Ministry of Health is very grateful to all our partners, volunteers and doctors that will be working hard to find our #missingmillions.
DATUK DR NOOR HISHAM ABDULLAH
DIRECTOR GENERAL OF HEALTH MALAYSIA
15 JULY 2019