Some 71 million people worldwide are infected with the hepatitis C virus. If left untreated, hepatitis C can lead to liver damage, liver cancer and sometimes death.
In recent years, effective drugs – known as direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) – have become more affordable. They cure 97 per cent of patients who complete the 12-week treatment course. However, access to diagnostics and treatment with DAAs is still difficult in countries such as Cambodia, where hepatitis C is a major health issue.
Médecins Sans Frontières is working with the Cambodian Ministry of Health to increase people’s access to care at Preah Kossamak hospital in the capital, Phnom Penh, and has introduced innovative ways of diagnosing and treating the disease.