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Report from the inaugural conference of the project „Prevention of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infections” which will be conducted in Poland from 2012 to 2016.

2012-10-26 00:00:00

On 11th of September 2012 in Business Centre Club (Lubomirski Palace), in Warsaw inaugural conference of the project “Prevention of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infections” was held. During the conference objectives of the project were presented, and also invited experts delivered lectures on the crucial problems of HCV infections and their epidemiology in Europe.

The conference was opened and moderated by professor Mirosław J. Wysocki, Director of the National Institute of Public Health – National Institute of Hygiene (NIPH-NIH).

The participants of the conference included representatives of the Ministry of Health, Chief Sanitary Inspectorate, WHO, Director of the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme, scientists from the important academic centers and members of key agencies and organizations involved in fight against HCV infections:
• Mr Igor Radziewicz–Winnicki, Undersecretary of State, Ministry of Health
• Mr Marek Posobkiewicz, Chief Sanitary Inspector
• Mrs Paulina Miśkiewicz, Office Director of the WHO Representative in Warsaw
• Mrs Elżbieta Puacz, PhD, Chairwoman of the National Chamber of Laboratory Diagnosticians
• Mrs Barbara Kot-Doniec, PhD, Director of the Centre for Postgraduate Education for Nurses and Midwives
• Mr Mariusz Janikowski, Secretary of National Medicine Council
The presence of Dominique Favre – Director of the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme, added splendour to the meeting. He expressed his appreciation for NIPH-NIH, as coordinator and performer of the project. He also assured of his support for NIPH-NIH on every level of implementation of that important venture.

During the I session, speakers were focused on description of HCV infection mechanism, diagnosis and treatment – that is, biological side of HCV. The first lecture has given by Agata Budkowska, PhD, from Pasteur Institute, Paris, about HCV: mechanism of cell infection and new goals of HCV treatment, who presented very interesting movie about process of cell infection by a virus.

Professor Kazimierz Madaliński from Department of Virology NIPH-NIH (Current HCV diagnostic algorithm) explained how to diagnose and how to estimate properly the number of HCV infected people.

Professor Robert Flisiak, Medical University in Białystok (HCV infections in Poland – the scale of the problem, prevalence, possibilities of treatment) presented the problem of HCV from the clinical side: method and process of treatment and number of infections.

In a next session, devoted to a HCV infections in Europe, experts from European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and Federal Office of Public Health, Bern, Switzerland delivered their presentations.

Piotr Kramarz, PhD, ECDC, (The problem of HCV infections in Europe) presented Report prepared in 2010, about existing surveillance systems of HCV in European Union. Due to large differences in reporting systems of HCV infections in different countries, there is a need to create an integrated system across the EU in order to get more comparable data.

Virginie Masserey Spicher, PhD, Federal Office of Public Health, Bern (HCV prevention in Switzerland), delivered a lecture about ways to reduce the spread of HCV in Switzerland, emphasized that only integrated activities, send to all target groups can be effective weapon in fight against the virus. As Masserey Spicher, PhD, emphasized, we must take care both of the people who are at risk, and also for those already infected.

The Last, III session was devoted to the description of the steps of the project execution in Poland. Professor Andrzej Zieliński, Department of Epidemiology NIPH-NIH (Prevention of HCV infections. Assumption of the program.) said, how very important is that activities of the program will cover all the target groups, the scale of the problem will be also described. In a result, the most effective activities, preventing HCV, will be promoted.

The next lecturer was Magdalena Rosińska, PhD, Department of Epidemiology NIPH-NIH (HCV diagnosis improvement, estimation of HCV occurrence in general population and analysis of factors relating to HCV occurrence), who emphasized, that on the basis of epidemiological data, it is possible to plan targeted prophylactic activities. She also emphasized that the earlier diagnosis, allows the more effective treatment.

Janusz Sierosławski, Institute of Psychiatry and Neurology in Warsaw (Reducing the HCV infection risk in population of the IDU – injecting drug users) was explaining that the most important thing is to estimate the number of infected people from IDU, work out efficient prevention programme for that target group, especially develop optimal access channels.

Professor Kazimierz Madaliński, Department of Virology NIPH-NIH (Pilot scheme of pregnant women examination diagnosed with HCV) said about examination of pregnant women, which will improve the prevention against vertical transmission of HCV infections and it will also improve the prevention of adverse clinical consequences in children’s vertically infected with the virus.

Then Irmina Nikiel, State District Sanitary Inspector in Lublin (Qualitative risk assessment of HCV infection in the light of medical procedures in selected medical facilities) presented plan of activities, which will increase the security and will prevent infections in medical facilities, also will implement procedures of control in medical facilities.

Anita Gębska–Kuczerowska, PhD, Department of Health Promotion and Postgraduate NIPH-NIH (Education for staff from chosen occupations with increased risk of blood infections and whole society for prevention (HCV, HBV, HIV)), explained how the education of staff from occupations with increased risk of infection and increasing the awareness in society is crucial to improve the efficiency of prevention HCV infections.

The conference ended with discussion of people who have every day contact with situations threatening HCV infection.

About the project “Prevention of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) Infections”:
Project will be implement from 2012 to 2016, and its total estimate cost amounted 4.669.907 CHF, of which:
1) amount of 3.969.421 CHF, which is 85% of all costs will be a support of Switzerland,
2) amount of 700.486 CHF, which is 15% of all costs will be polish support.

The aim of the Swiss-Polish Cooperation Programme (SPCP), within the agreement of implementation a program in Poland was signed, is to reduce in Poland social and economics differences in Poland and financial assets made available within the SPCP will enable a nationwide health promotion healthy lifestyle, health education and prevention of infectious diseases.

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