As hepatitis C infections have been increasing for the past few years in China, experts suggested Friday that more investment should be put into the prevention and treatment of the disease in less-developed areas.
“Hepatitis C virus (HCV) has brought a great burden and threat for patients and society, therefore more publicity should be made to increase rural people’s awareness,” Duan Zhongping, a doctor from the Wu Jieping Medical Foundation, said at a forum before the World Hepatitis Day.
HCV is usually spread by blood, sex and mother-to-child transmissions.
According to figures from a survey organized by the foundation and Bristol-Myers Squibb, hepatitis C patients in China spent 8,212 yuan (1,290 U.S. dollars) on average for one stay in hospital, taking up 34.25 percent and 117.7 percent of people’s yearly income in urban and rural areas respectively.
Duan said that rural dwellers had relatively low awareness of the disease which might delay treatment, suggesting that cost-effective and safer kinds of medicine be invented to fight against the disease.