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CHAI Announces Partnership with Governments in Six Low- and Middle-Income Countries to Initiate and Expand Hepatitis C Treatment Programs

BARCELONA, Apr 17, 2016 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Ministries of Health in Ethiopia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Vietnam are accelerating access to hepatitis C (HCV) testing and treatment with technical assistance from the Quick-Start program, which aims to cure 25,000 people of HCV in the next two years. The Quick-Start program is a partnership of the Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. (CHAI) and Duke Health. The program is in close collaboration with PharmAccess Foundation, Amsterdam, which is establishing HCV treatment projects in several sub-Saharan African countries.

The Quick-Start program supports governments to establish successful treatment programs and speed up access to HCV cures. The cornerstone of the program is a simplified screening and treatment algorithm, developed with Duke’s clinical expertise, in collaboration with leading clinicians from Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Academic Medical Center in Amsterdam, introducing new direct-acting antiviral (DAA) medicines that will improve and enhance clinical impact while reducing costs and allowing for treatment to be prescribed by general clinicians.

“The national viral hepatitis program in Rwanda is deeply committed to providing access to HCV screening and treatment in its public health facilities and is encouraged to scale up its efforts towards treating patients with more affordable commodities,” stated Dr. Sabin Nsanzimana, Head of HIV, STI and Other Blood-Borne Infections Division at the Rwanda Biomedical Center.

In addition, Bristol-Myers Squibb BMY, +0.27% has agreed to donate Daklinza to the Quick-Start program, as announced on April 13, 2016. CHAI has also signed agreements with...