Those living in Georgia’s occupied regions but do not hold a Georgian passport will be able to benefit from the free Hepatitis C treatment program Georgia offers its citizens.
Georgian Health Minister David Sergeenko announced this after a governmental meeting today.
Sergeenko said that a neutral ID card or a neutral travel document will be enough for Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region residents to engage in the free treatment program.
A neutral document is a document that Georgia’s Justice Ministry issues to residents of either of Georgia’s two Russian-occupied regions in case they don’t hold a Georgian passport and apply for a neutral identification document.
Sergeenko said that the free treatment program was very attractive for many of those living in Abkhazia and Tskhinvali region but until now the treatment was only available to Georgian citizens.
In partnership with the American company Gilead, Georgia launched a large-scale Hepatitis C Elimination Program in 2015. The program aims to make Georgia a Hepatitis C-free country by 2020.
Sergeenko said that now Georgia signed a memorandum with Gilead envisaging the expansion of coverage and letting Abkhazians and Ossetians with a neutral document benefit from the program.
As of today, about 38,000 people have registered for the free Hepatitis C program. Of these, about 37,500 have started treatment while more than 29,000 have already completed the treatment course. Officials say that the cure rate is 98 percent.