Hamad Medical Corporation’s (HMC) Fahad Bin Jassim Kidney Center and the Gastroenterology Department held a special ceremony honouring Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) in recognition of the support it had provided during the period of 2016-2020 to treat kidney patients with hepatitis C virus who were unable to afford their treatment.
Dr Fadwa al-Ali, Director of the Treatment Programme for Kidney Patients with Hepatitis C Virus, explained that the programme was launched in 2016 in collaboration with the Gastroenterology Department at HMC and QRC to support residents who are unable to afford treatment costs. All 45 patients in the programme have recovered from hepatitis C virus. The patients have been receiving dialysis at various dialysis units across HMC, including Fahad Bin Jassim Kidney Center, Urgent Care Center, Al Shamal Dialysis Center, Al Shahaniya Dialysis Center, Al Wakra Dialysis Center, and Al Khor Dialysis Center.
Dr Saad al-Kaabi, Head of Gastroenterology Department at HMC, said that this collaboration comes as part of the national campaign to eliminate hepatitis C virus in Qatar. The health authorities in the country, represented by the Ministry of Public Health (MOPH) and HMC, adopted a national project aimed at controlling hepatitis in Qatar. Qatar Red Crescent is participating in the sponsorship of the program as part of its role to support the government’s humanitarian and social policy inside and outside Qatar. The project has received international recognition from several international organisations.
Hepatitis affects millions of people around the world. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis, or liver cancer. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis and the disease can develop more severe complications for kidney and renal failure patients.
Muna al-Sulaiti, Executive Director of Volunteering and Local Development Division at QRC, thanked HMC for organising the recognition ceremony and said, “We at QRC are very proud to be part of the integrated health system that contributed to this great achievement as we share a common goal of eradicating the hepatitis C virus from Qatar.”
Al Sulaiti commended the fruitful co-operation between QRC and HMC as part of their strategic partnership and based on the objectives of the National Health Strategy under Qatar National Vision 2023.
“Our cooperation with HMC is not limited to covering treatment costs for those who are unable to afford their treatment, but it also extends to a number of other projects aimed at offering social and psychological support to patients, such as launching online libraries, visiting patients to offer emotional support, providing sports equipment, and organizing other events regularly in collaboration with HMC,” added Al Sulaiti.
Dr Moutaz Derbala, Senior Consultant Gastroenterologist at HMC, reiterated that Qatar is on the right pathway for controlling hepatitis, and this strategic framework is a continuation of an already developed national response plan for viral hepatitis, which is in line with global and regional strategies aimed at achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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