The Gastroenterology Foundation of South Africa
The Gastroenterology Foundation of South Africa received a grant of $165,485 for 18 months to develop guidance for screening, detection and treatment of HCV of chronic viral hepatitis C by the end of 2016 and to improve knowledge in Sub-Saharan Africa on the management of viral hepatitis, including other liver diseases.
Sub-Saharan Africa has a paucity of information regarding the epidemiology and management of viral hepatitis, particularly hepatitis C virus (HCV). Accurate and reliable data about the prevalence of HCV in Sub-Saharan Africa is nonexistent. Developing countries carry the brunt of HCV infection and access to liver specialists and healthcare treatment is limited. However, with the advent of successful antiviral therapy for HCV infection, guidelines are needed to aid healthcare providers in screening, detection and monitoring and treatment of this condition.
The Gastroenterology Foundation hosts a series of advisory board meetings comprised of hepatologists and gastroenterologists from various countries in Africa responsible for collecting epidemiological data on HCV, HCV/HIV and HBV/HIV co-infections to design comprehensive international hepatitis treatment guidelines. The foundation will also host post-graduate continuing education courses for liver specialist to capacitate and transfer diagnostic and treatment management skills in viral hepatitis. The project will collaborate with other international liver organizations to create a Sub-Saharan Gastroenterology consortium responsible for addressing gaps in the continuum of liver disease treatment and survivorship.