FIND, DNDi to support Malaysian MoH for approaching HCV
The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) and the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) will partner to generate evidence that will support policy change and scale up of hepatitis C (HCV) diagnosis and treatment. This work, announced at the AIDS 2018 conference in Amsterdam and ahead of World Hepatitis Day 2018, is being conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Health (MoH) in Malaysia with a view to overcoming barriers to diagnosis and treatment. It forms part of a larger FIND project known as Hepatitis C Elimination through Access to Diagnostics (HEAD-Start), supported by Unitaid. Although the World Health Organization (WHO) has prequalified different types of HCV tests, screening and confirmatory diagnosis of hepatitis C are not widely available, and remain largely centralized and siloed where they do exist. This means that identifying those with the disease so they can be linked to care is a huge challenge. FIND will demonstrate the feasibility of using rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) in decentralized primary healthcare facilities, and provide technical assistance to the Ministry of Health in Malaysia to support the project.