Hepatitis C Elimination in Rwanda: Progress, Feasibility, and Economic Evaluation

Jul 1, 2024, 00:00 AM
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First Page : 918


In 2018, Rwanda launched a national program to eliminate the hepatitis C virus (HCV). We aim to assess the impact of the program to date and identify strategies to achieve the World Health Organization’s HCV elimination goals by 2030.


We developed a microsimulation model to simulate Rwanda’s HCV epidemic from 2015 through 2050 and evaluated temporal trends in HCV infection, prevalence, mortality, and the total cost of care for scenarios that could achieve HCV elimination by 2030.


Between 2018 and 2022, over 7 million people were screened for HCV, and 60 000 were treated. The study projected that Rwanda could achieve HCV elimination as early as 2027. A feasible strategy of an annual screening rate of 15% and a treatment rate of 100% would achieve all World Health Organization elimination goals by 2028, requiring screening an additional 4 million people and treating 23 900 patients by 2030. The elimination strategy costs $25 million for screening and diagnosis and $21 million for treatment from 2015 to 2050. The national program would avert 4900 hepatocellular carcinoma cases and 6700 HCV-related deaths and save the health system $25.33 million from 2015 to 2050.


Rwanda is poised to become one of the first countries in the world to eliminate HCV. Rwanda’s program serves as a blueprint for other countries in the African region. By rapid screening and treatment scale-up (eg, by leveraging HIV platforms) and by drug price negotiations, HCV elimination is not only feasible but can be cost-saving in low-income settings.

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