April 2, 2020
Vancouver, BC — Vancouver Centre MP Dr. Hedy Fry today announced that the Government of Canada is investing $235,000 to combat hepatitis C among clients of Dr. Peter Centre in the heart of Vancouver’s West End.
Fry made the announcement on behalf of Minister of Health Patty Hajdu, and the funds will be used to support the HCV Micro-Elimination at Dr. Peter Centre: Education & Adherence Support program at Dr. Peter Centre.
“During the COVID-19 crisis, there are still vulnerable people in our community who need support for other health problems. Dr. Peter Centre has a strong track record of delivering exceptional programs with strong health outcomes,” said Dr. Fry. “These new funds will be used for education and medication adherence support to more than 400 people right here in Vancouver.”
“The new treatments for hepatitis C are excellent and have few side effects, we’ve got to get them out to people who need them the most,” explained Scott Elliott, Executive Director of Dr. Peter Centre. “At the Dr. Peter Centre, we work with those most in need, people living with HIV as well as mental health issues, substance use, and hepatitis C. I can tell you from personal experience how much it means to get clear of this virus. We would like to thank the Government of Canada for this important investment in our community’s health.”
Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis virus. It is a major cause of liver cancer, and an estimated 71 million people are living with hepatitis C globally—including approximately 53,000 British Columbians. Indigenous peoples, especially women and youth, are disproportionately impacted, with five times the prevalence when compared to the general population.
The Government of Canada funds evidence-based harm reduction programs at the community level, partnering with organizations like St. Paul’s Hospital, Positive Living Fraser Valley, No kheyoh t’sih’en t’sehena society (Prince George), AIDS Network Outreach and Support Society (Nelson), and Atira Women’s Resource Society (Surrey).