Health minister David Sergeenko addressed Hepatitis C-affected individuals to follow healthy lifestyle principles, prior to starting the treatment. He stressed that patients should not consume alcohol or abuse painkillers.
Discussing the issue with journalists Mr Sergeenko made a quite original remark regarding rehabilitation expectations among Georgian patients:
“Foreign surgeons say that the first thing their patients ask after a surgery is when can they resume sexual activity and their work-out routine. However, in Georgia, the first thing a patient asks his doctor is ‘When can I start drinking alcohol again?’ Or else, they come complaining that their neighbor had the same procedure but they are already consuming alcohol and how come they cannot do the same.”
He also noted that Hepatitis C patients should be aware of the fact that affected livers will not return to their former healthy version completely. Hepatitis C treatment first and foremost means eradicating the infection, not improving the liver’s former capabilities.
“It often happens that patients think since they are due to start the treatment soon, they do not need to lead a healthy lifestyle anymore. They resume unhealthy alcohol intake and break very basic health maintenance principles. This kind of attitude is completely unacceptable, as it can have fatal causes for the disease-affected individuals. It is categorically unacceptable to consume alcohol, abuse painkillers or have unhealthy diets for Hepatitis C patients.”
“I want to stress yet again that we will start the anti-virus campaign shortly. The project will be signed on April 21st and will be fully launched soon after that. However, this does not mean that Hepatitis C patients are free to abandon the basic principles of a healthy lifestyle” – David Sergeenko said in an interview.
The treatment will be conducted using a new generation medication Sofosbuvir. According to national statistics, there are 200 000 Hepatitis C-affected patients in Georgia. However, the actual number can be much larger than the picture official statistics suggest.
By Nino Gojiashvili