Renewed Hope for People for Hepatitis Patients in the Coast Region
On 7th July 2022, Phillips Therapeutics Limited on behalf of Gilead Sciences Inc. inked a partnership agreement with the National Authority for the Campaign Against Alcohol and Drug Abuse (NACADA) to train peer educators on the diagnosis, management, and treatment of Hepatitis.
“This training aims to broaden and develop the perspective of implementers in programs for people who inject drugs (PWID). It will focus on building the knowledge and skillset of health professionals and peer educators to understand the needs of PWID, the issues affecting them, and effective interventions to address their needs and issues”, said Newton Siele, Phillips Therapeutics Limited, Chief Executive Officer.
The National AIDS&STI Control Programme (NASCOP) will provide facilitators as well as the training materials while Partners for Health and Development in Africa (PHDA) will coordinate, and provide logistical and financial management support during the training. NACADA on the other hand will be responsible for identifying the peer educators from the accredited Drop-In Centers in Mombasa County.
The agreement underscores a concerted effort and collaboration to provide quality and evidence-based services to people at risk or infected with Hepatitis. It also reaffirms NACADA’s commitment to utilizing strategic partnerships to serve communities across the countries while strengthening all the components of the substance use prevention and management continuum.
Mr. Victor Okioma, the Authority’s CEO affirmed NACADA’s commitment to the successful implementation of this training. “We welcome this partnership and it will help create awareness on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of Hepatitis that can easily be spread through sharing of syringes amongst injecting drug users,” said Okioma.
Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver and is often caused by a virus. People who inject drugs (PWID) are at risk of hepatitis C, hepatitis B, and HIV without accessible harm reduction programs. This training is part of the pre-activities geared towards World Hepatitis day that is commemorated each year on 28 July. This year’s theme is “I Can’t Wait” conveying the urgency of efforts needed to eliminate hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030.