Niue Screens Its Eligible Population For Hepatitis B And C In World First
Niue Pacific First In ‘Cure a Country’ Viral Heptatitis Elimination Project
Alofi, Niue – 26 July 2021 – The Government of Niue today announced it is proud to be the first Pacific country to implement a “Cure-a-Country” viral hepatitis elimination programme with 90% of the island’s population over 18 tested for viral hepatitis.
Honourable Sauni Tongatule, the Minister of Health says the Niue Health Department took the opportunity while administering the COVID-19 vaccine rollout (98.6% of Niue’s eligible residents have received two doses of the Pfizer vaccine) to also address Heptatitis screening.
“We worked closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) and wanted to support their target of elimination of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C by 2030. So far we are the first in the Pacific but would also love to be the first in the world to achieve the elimination of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C on Niue,” says Hon. Tongatule.
Hon. Tongatule also says that the Hepatitis screening confirmed a very small presence of viral hepatitis at 1 percent among the eligible residents that were tested.
“It was pleasing that the prevalence of viral heptatitis in Niue is well below the global average of 7%. Nonetheless this screening has allowed Niue’s Health Department to ensure that the eight affected residents to start receiving treatment, care and medication for their viral hepatitis condition.”
“Lastly like all success stories on Niue, this was a coordinated health team effort and so my thanks also go to the key people within my Ministry including Director-General for the Ministry of Social Services Mrs Gaylene Tasmania, Director of Health Dr Edgar Akau’ola, Head of Public Health Grizelda Mokoia, and finally Andy Manu from laboratory services.”