Care Foundation Funding Focus – People First
People with hepatitis C across the top of the south are benefitting from a mobile FibroScan machine used to measure the health of their livers purchased with funds from The Care Foundation.
The scanner provides a picture of the liver using transient elastography. It is non-invasive, painless and is able to give instant results. This allows the operator to measure scarring and estimate the overall health of the liver. This, in turn, informs treatment options for people with Hepatitis C.
Nurse Belinda (Blin) Heaphy travels throughout the Nelson Marlborough region with the mobile scanner, she says clients are very grateful to have access to this amazing piece of equipment. We can be very flexible where and when we test people. Testing frequently takes place in peoples homes (including one on a boat in the marina), testing can be arranged before or after work and especially for rural people this means they don’t have to take time off work to be tested.
Blin says that the new treatment currently available for some types of hepatitis C has a 95 per cent cure rate with only three months of treatment and minimal side effects. She hopes that if more people are tested with the scanner, clearing their eligibility for treatment, then more people will be cured of the disease.