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/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is working with the Cambodian Ministry of Health at Preah Kossamak hospital in the capital Phnom Penh, introducing innovative ways of diagnosing and treating hepatitis C.
At the start of the project in 2016, it took up to 140 days for a patient to start on hepatitis C treatment after being screened. “The patients were scared,” says MSF’s Dr Sann, who has seen hundreds of patients over the past three years. “They had been told that their blood carried the hepatitis C virus, but they still had to wait a long time before the treatment started. They didn’t know what the virus was doing to their body, and they wondered what might happen to them.”