In 2016, MSF set up a treatment clinic for people with hepatitis C in Preah Kossamak Hospital in Phnom Penh. The project has developed a much simplified test-and-treat model of care that also cuts out the need for complicated and costly diagnostic tests and means patients are not required to make so many visits to clinic.
Because the price of the medicines initially was so high, treatment was given to patients at a more advanced stage of the disease but since January 2018 treatment has been opened up to anyone with the disease.
By March 31st 2018, more than 3, 905 people with hep C have been put on treatment since the start of the project A second project has now opened in a rural district of the Battambang province. The patients are treated with the improved hepatitis medicines that have recently been introduced called direct-acting antivirals (DAAs).
These medicines are far more effective, have fewer side effects than earlier treatment and have a reduced treatment duration from 24 to 48 weeks to around 12 weeks.
This video features Ak Sreang, a patient who has been treated in the project.