Hepatitis C screening in Mexico: 12 years of searching for the missing millions

By Lorena Stoopen, Fundación Mexicana para la Salud Hepatica

Every year in May, FundHepa organises “Hepatic Health Day” with many activities to promote liver health. These include conferences, media interviews, social reunions and a session with the Mexican Academy of Medicine. Every year on this day Biomédica de Referencia organizes free hepatitis C testing in every branch office they have.

Biomédica de Referencia also looks for enterprises who would like to have their employees tested and goes there to perform the tests.

This partnership between FundHepa and Biomédica de Referencia was proposed because the laboratory director is a member of the strategic committee at FundHepa (has been a counsellor for many years) and does it as part of the social responsibility program the company (laboratory) has.

Since 2007, they have tested 70,009 individuals, both in México City and others cities across the country. Out of the 70,000 people tested, 329 individuals tested positive for hepatitis C. Biomédica de Referencia´s leadership and commitment was a crucial component for the success of the campaign. We need to get more laboratories involved in order to increase the number of people tested.

This example shows how collaboration with laboratories is critical to finding the missing millions. We need to work together to disseminate information and raise awareness through activities in public spaces and empower every state to be a leader that can implement a similar campaign in its region.

“My Mom died some years ago, she had Hepatitis C and didn´t know it. In my family we heard about this campaign and decided to get tested. We found out my father had the virus too but he was able to get treated and today, if my father is alive is thanks to this laboratory”

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