Following the publication of the article “Without badges, agents saying from the Ministry of Health make hepatitis screening at home,” last Saturday, May 9, 2015, the Ministry of Health clarifies today 11 May 2015 as follows :
– It is not a screening compaign but a National Survey of a sample of 22,000 individuals across 275 imadats and representing the whole of Tunisia. This sample was provided by the National Institute of Statistics.
– The purpose of the survey is to provide accurate and updated estimates of the frequency of infection with Hepatitis Virus (A, B and C)This aims to guide therapeutic strategies for viral hepatitis in Tunisia and to help decision makers to better target measures to control these infections.
– This survey takes place in accordance to national regulatory and ethical procedures (visa N ° 2/ 2013 of the High Council of Statistics, informed consent of subjects, anonymity, confidentiality and management of infected subjects).
– The investigation started from December 2014 after information and coordination with national , regional and local authorities. An information note is distributed by the local authorities to inform the public of the investigation. Data is collected directly from households after agreement of the head of household and informed consent of all individuals aged over 18 years and parental informed consent for minors. The investigation was closed in some governorates and is ongoing in others.
– A collect Team : doctors, nurses who have received specific training, conduct interrogations at home and collect blood samples at home or at specific centers. They have a special badge of the survey stamped by the regional directorate, a mission order signed by the Regional Director and their business cards or ID card as well as the investigation documents.
– Preliminary results will be communicated by the Ministry of Health as soon as possible.
This survey will bring a lot of data on the frequency of these infections, their risk factors and risk groups to be targeted by the treatment and preventive measures. Several awareness and health education will be scheduled after the survey in collaboration with the media that have a major role in keeping the general public informed.