What We Do
MSF implemented a pilot project in Meerut in collaboration with the National Health Mission (NHM), Uttar Pradesh. In December 2019, MSF activities were transferred to the National Health Mission and the project was officially closed. The project aimed to demonstrate the effectiveness of decentralised and simplified hepatitis C treatment and care by providing free testing, treatment, health education and counselling services to patients at a district-level hospital. Through this collaboration, MSF shares best practices and advocates the replication of this model in western Uttar Pradesh initially, and to other highprevalence areas later.
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). A bloodborne virus, hepatitis C is most commonly transmitted through unsafe injection practices, reuse or inadequate sterilisation of medical equipment, and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products. If left untreated, hepatitis C can lead to potentially fatal conditions such as liver failure and liver cancer.
There is a very high prevalence of hepatitis C in western Uttar Pradesh, believed to be largely due to unsafe medical practices by informal and formal care providers. With no public health programme to date, testing and treatment is a huge challenge in Uttar Pradesh. While testing and treatment services are available in the private sector, there are major barriers to access due to lack of awareness, financial constraints and geographical distances.
In collaboration with the state health services, the NHM and other stakeholders, MSF succeeded in highlighting hepatitis C as a priority for the state. The project collaborated with the state health services and the NHM to adopt and implement an effective hepatitis C programme in Uttar Pradesh in a phased manner, scaling up this model to more locations using a decentralised, simplified approach.
On World Hepatitis Day 2018, MSF in partnership with Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, Lucknow, and the NHM brought key stakeholders together for a state-level consultation to ensure better access to treatment in Uttar Pradesh in 2019, when the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Viral Hepatitis is rolled out