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A Counties Manukau Health-led, New Zealand first ‘Test and Treat’ programme for New Zealanders with hepatitis C is being launched in selected community pharmacies across the Northern Region, including 17 in the Counties Manukau area.

Launched to coincide with World Hepatitis Day on Wednesday, 28 July, the free* initiative will see selected pharmacies equipped to test for the hepatitis C virus via a quick finger-prick, and provide safe and effective treatment for those who test positive.

Counties Manukau Health’s Dr Natalie Gauld says the early detection and treatment of hepatitis C, a virus that attacks the liver and can cause liver cancer, will save lives.

“A pilot project in New Zealand found pharmacies could raise awareness of hepatitis C, help get people diagnosed, and then link them to their doctor for treatment.

“We have now expanded hepatitis C testing to many more pharmacies, allowing pharmacists to provide the treatment without a prescription to reduce barriers to access.

“We are pleased to be able to help New Zealand and our community treat and eradicate hepatitis C by making treatment easier and more accessible than ever before.”

Test results are returned in just five minutes and treatment for most people consists of a short course of tablets which are proven to be 98% effective in curing hepatitis C. 

Testing and treatment (where applicable) in the selected pharmacies is free for New Zealand residents with no appointment or prescription needed. People can also ask their general practitioner or needle exchanges about getting tested for hepatitis C.

Background

  • Around 40,000 New Zealanders are living with hepatitis C. However, due to symptoms often not appearing for many years, half of them are unaware they have it. 
  • Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus that attacks the liver and can lead to cancer.
  • The virus is a major public health threat in New Zealand. Around 500 people contract hepatitis C every year and 150 people die from it.
  • New Zealand has a goal to eliminate hepatitis C by 2030.
  • While there is now a highly effective treatment that can cure up to 98 percent of those with hepatitis C, to achieve elimination we must ensure that everyone who has the virus is diagnosed so they can receive this treatment. 
  • At risk people include those who have received a tattoo or body piercing using unsterile equipment, had a blood transfusion before 1992, ever injected drugs, been in prison, received medical treatment in a high-risk country, or been born to a mother with hepatitis C.
  • World Hepatitis Day on Wednesday 28th July will also see the launch of the National Hepatitis C Action Plan for Aotearoa New Zealand. The Action Plan sets out how New Zealand will eliminate hepatitis C as a major public health threat by 2030.
  • Pharmacies in the Counties Manukau region providing this service are: 

Botany SuperClinic Pharmacy

260 Botany Road

Golflands

Auckland

09 277 1510

Unichem Pukekohe Pharmacy

16 West Street

Pukekohe

Auckland

09 238 7690

Unichem Waiuku Pharmacy

40 Queen Street

Waiuku

Auckland

09 235 9307

Unichem Mangere Pharmacy

12 Waddon Place

Mangere

Auckland

09 265 4929

Airport Oaks Pharmacy

149c Kirkbride Road, 

Mangere

Auckland

09 275 0155

Jaks Pharmacy Limited

35 Cavendish Drive

Manukau

Auckland

09 262 1815

ProHealth Manukau Pharmacy

597 Great South Road

Manukau

Auckland

09 553 6509

Life Pharmacy Pakuranga

Shop 128, Pakuranga Plaza
10 Aylesbury Street

Pakuranga

Auckland

09 576 8074

Unichem Bairds Pharmacy

2/3 Watford Street

Otara

Auckland

09 265 4920

Unichem Takanini Pharmacy

T3-226 Great South Road

Takanini

Auckland

09 951 5344

Countdown Pharmacy Pukekohe South

186-192 Manukau Road

Pukekohe

Auckland

09 237 3081

Dawson Road Pharmacy

124A Dawson Road

Clover Park

Auckland

09 274 8816

Family  Health Pharmacy

32B George Street

Tuakau

Auckland

09 236 9930

Unichem Leabank Pharmacy

104 Weymouth Road

Manurewa

Auckland

09 266 9455

Clendon Pharmacy

Roscommon Road

Clendon Park

Auckland

09 267 0143

Southmall Pharmacy

Unit F, 185 Great South Roard

Manurewa

Auckland

09 267 6477

Papakura Marae Pharmacy

29 Hunua Road

Papakura

Auckland

09 298 6502

 

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