The Unitaid-supported Hepatitis C Elimination through Access to Diagnostics (HEAD-Start) project is designed to enhance availability and accessibility of hepatitis C testing services.
The Institute of Liver & Biliary Sciences (ILBS) and Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) have jointly convened an orientation workshop for the HEAD-start (Hepatitis C Elimination through Access to Diagnostics) project. With support and guidance from the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) of the Government of the National Capital Territory (NCT) of Delhi, ILBS and FIND are preparing to implement the Unitaid-funded HEAD-Start project in the National Capital Region of Delhi.
The HEAD-Start project to enhance availability and accessibility of hepatitis C testing will be executed in a phased manner across five hospitals identified by the DGHS including Pt. Madan Mohan Malviya Hospital, Maharshi Valmiki Hospital, Sanjay Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital, and Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital. A physician and a microbiologist from each hospital have been nominated as nodal officers for the project.
Under the project, a series of coordinated interventions will be undertaken to enhance the increased availability of, and accessibility to, hepatitis C testing. The HEAD-Start project in Delhi aims to enhance hepatitis C diagnosis and treatment pathways in both the general and high-risk populations. This includes patients with clinical findings, people who inject drugs, individuals with HIV co-infection, patients on dialysis and patients who have undergone blood transfusions.
Dr Sanjay Sarin, Head of FIND India, said, "This project will generate evidence for the implementation of effective diagnostic tools, and provide an operational service delivery model for the design of an integrated diagnostics and treatment blueprint, which will inform policymakers at both the state and central levels."