“Georgia is an excellent example of a country combatting even the most complex diseases with a shared effort” stated Mamuka Bakhtadze, Prime Minister of Georgia in his speech delivered at a regional consultation meeting branded as Achievements Towards Elimination of Hepatitis C today.
Head of Government of Georgia stressed the significance of the fact that such event is held first time ever in Europe and Georgia has been selected as a host country out of 53 nations.
According to the Prime Minister of Georgia, it is a vivid evidence of the significant progress achieved in the context of successful reforms conducted in the healthcare sector, especially in the fight against Hepatitis C.
“Since our victory in the general elections of 2012, our political team declared healthcare as our absolute priority. We had a lot of challenges in this area and a number of significant reforms have been implemented throughout these years. We have fundamentally adjusted our focus within the State Budget that we inherited and now have a set of prudently analyzed healthcare priorities. It is evidenced by the statistics and very substantial results that we managed to achieve. We have developed a Universal Healthcare Program, which makes the basic medical treatment accessible and affordable to every citizen. It is one of the most significant achievements of our political team” added the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Head of Government of Georgia noted that Hepatitis C unfortunately remains as a pressing challenge for the global community and requires active engagement of governments and civil societies in the fight against the disease.
Prime Minister of Georgia recalled the findings of the study carried out in Georgia in 2015, which made it clear that almost 8% of the population in Georgia was infected with Hepatitis C.
According to the Head of Government of Georgia, it was a very tenacious challenge in the country. Fight against it and launch of an unprecedented program of elimination of Hepatitis C was made possible solely with support of the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) of the United States of America (USA) – strategic partner of Georgia, along with the Gilead corporation and World Health Organization (WHO).
“Today we may say with great pride that tens of thousands of our citizens formerly infected with Hepatitis C are fully cured now with government support. Some time ago this diagnosis was perceived as a verdict in Georgia and it was impossible to combat it with household savings. We have a tremendous success. Test negative indicator is 98% on average. We will not spare time and efforts in future either for the ultimate eradication of the disease. I am confident that Georgia will become one of the first countries to fully combat the Hepatitis C” added the Prime Minister of Georgia.
Head of Government of Georgia expressed his gratitude to each and every individual and partner engaged in the program, thereby thanking most sincerely David Sergeenko, Minister of Health, Labor, Social Security and IDPs from Occupied Territories of Georgia. He also stressed the efforts invested by the medical community and noted that achieved outcome is great merits to all.
A two-day regional consultation meeting held in Tbilisi under the aegis of the World Health Organization (WHO), is attended by officials from Ministries of Health of various countries, European Commission, UN system agencies, WHO HQ and regional offices, professional associations and leading experts. Meeting aims to review and exchange information on the progress and challenges of participating countries towards combatting Hepatitis C.