KUALA LUMPUR: The Health Ministry will organise the largest free ‘test-and-treat’ screening for hepatitis C for all Malaysians.

Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said, there will be over 100 specially designed screening sites in hospitals and primary healthcare centres across Malaysia, starting from today till July 21.

“We hope that this campaign will help us to provide the public with this ‘test-and-treat’ opportunity as there is an estimated 400,000 people infected with the disease in Malaysia.

Dr Noor Hisham

“We also want Malaysians to understand the risk factors of hepatitis C, so that we can tackle the health burden in this country and prevent new cases from occurring,” he said in a statement here, today.

He added the campaign is also part of the preparation for World Hepatitis Day, celebrated globally on 28th July.

“Our partner in this campaign, Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) will ensure that all Malaysians have the opportunity to be tested and treated for this disease for free.

“This initiative is the biggest national screening event ever attempted by our Government and will play a significant role in our hepatitis C elimination efforts by 2030. This campaign will also help to support and accelerate the scale-up activities of hepatitis C screening in-country,” he said.

Among the hospitals taking part in the seven-day campaign are Hospital Tuanku Fauziah (Perlis), Hospital Sultanah Bahiyah (Kedah), Hospital Sungai Bakap (Pulau Pinang), Hospital Ampang, Hospital Selayang, Hospital Kuala Lipis (Pahang) and Hospital Umum Sarawak.

It will include the Health Clinics of Pendang (Kedah), Ampang, Seri Kembangan, Parit Raja (Johor) and Pangkalan Chepa (Kelantan).

“In order for us to eliminate hepatitis C, we urge Malaysians to come to this specially designed screening sites to get tested and treated for this blood-borne disease,” he said. – Bernama