Locating in the heart of Middle East, right beside the biggest narcotic producer in the world, and with an increasing number of injecting drug users, viral hepatitis is considered as a serious risk factor in our country, Iran. The prevalence of HCV in general population In Iran is about 0.3% that is not very high, but it’s considerably different from its prevalence among high risk population with 32.1%; and the prevalence among drug injecting users subpopulation is 52.2%, horrifying.
As a full member of IPPF, and with special consultative status in the UN-ECOSOC, we decided to put hepatitis in our domain of concerns since last year and we’ve started our mission with HCV. We are screening our clients that are mostly high risk women in the poorest neighborhood of Tehran for HCV and with the help of donors and medical facilities, putting them under treatment.
Beside the direct services we are providing in our DICs in, we’ve started our advocacy programs to educate the society about this ticking bomb and engaging authorities and the other NGOs to tackle this problem. It’s our first step of many we’re going to take.