Today, Haemophilia Scotland joined Hepatitis Scotland and representatives from Waverley Care and several NHS Hepatitis Services, the Scottish Drugs Forum and the Hepatitis C Trust, to launch World Hepatitis Day in St Enoch’s Square, Glasgow.
Scottish organisations are working together, though HepCScot, to raise awareness about Hepatitis C and encourage people to consider getting tested. The launch attracted coverage from the BBC and in the Metro. Buses advertising the HepCScot campaign are now hitting the streets of Scotland too.
Dan Farthing-Sykes, Haemophilia Scotland CEO, said,
The HepCScot message about testing is particularly important this year. The only recommendation of the Penrose Report was that “the Scottish Government takes all reasonable steps to offer an HCV test to everyone in Scotland who had a blood transfusion before September 1991 and who has not been tested for HCV.” We are concerned that if there is anyone with a mild bleeding disorder who has been lost to follow up then they should be offered a test. The only way to achieve that might be through raising awareness though initiatives such as HepCScot.
For people with a bleeding disorder and Hepatitis C, liver disease is now the number one killer. That is why it is so important that everyone who was state infected with Hepatitis C have immediate access to the new Direct Acting Antiviral treatments. The Scottish Government has accepted their moral responsibility to those affected by the contaminated blood disaster. We are pleased that Shona Robison MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Health, Wellbeing, and Sport, has already made it clear that she believed it is very important for state infected people to have access to the new treatments if they are clinically suitable. We now need to set a realistic target for treating all those infected by the state as soon as possible.