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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 15:13 GMT 16:13 UK
Ministers in 'killer virus' drive
Blood sample
The funding is to help NHS Boards improve Hep C work
A 4m drive to tackle rates of Hepatitis C infection has been launched by the Scottish Executive.

The money, to be distributed to NHS Boards over two years, aims to improve co-ordination and planning as well as work to reduce the number of new cases.

A further 314,000 has been allocated towards a campaign to help raise awareness among health professionals.

There are about 50,000 people in Scotland with the life-threatening virus - more than the national average.

Experts say the greatest risk of getting the blood-borne virus in the UK is from injecting drugs and 85% of Scots with the virus were infected that way.

Scotland has the highest prevalence of the virus in the UK and that is why the prevention of new infections is so important
Health Minister Andy Kerr

The new drive was announced by Health Minister Andy Kerr in the run-up to World Hepatitis Awareness Day on 1 October.

Mr Kerr said: "We have set out a range of actions that NHS boards, the voluntary sector, Health Protection Scotland and other professionals will take forward over two years.

"These actions will allow great strides to be made in improving the co-ordination of services, prevention, diagnosis, understanding and treatment of the virus.

"Scotland has the highest prevalence of the virus in the UK and that is why the prevention of new infections is so important."




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