Congratulation Dr Amirah binti Azzeri on the successful completion of her PHD Viva Voce

The Department would like to congratulate Dr Amirah binti Azzeri on the successful completion of her Doctor of Philosophy Viva Voce. She was supervised by Prof Dr Maznah Dahlui, Prof Dr Rosmawati Mohamed and Dr Fatiha Hana Shabaruddin. The title of her thesis was “Disease and Economic Burden of Hepatitis C Infection and its treatment in Malaysia”.

The findings of her thesis was published in five peer reviewed publications:

  1. Clinical characteristics of patients with chronic hepatitis C infection at initial presentation to tertiary care in an Asian middle-income country. The Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 49(5), 789–798.
  2. A step-wise approach to a national hepatitis C screening strategy in Malaysia to meet the WHO 2030 targets: Proposed strategy, coverage, and costs. Value in Health Regional Issues, (18), 112–120.
  3. Projections of the healthcare costs and disease burden due to hepatitis C infection under different treatment policies in Malaysia, 2018–2040. Applied Health Economics and Health Policy, 16(6), 845–857.
  4. Letter to editor: Hepatitis C elimination by 2030 in Malaysia: an achievable goal? Journal of Viral Eradication. Accepted. In Press.
  5. Hepatocellular carcinoma in Malaysia and its changing trend. Euroasian Journal of Hepatogastroenterology, 8(1),54-56.

Summary: The research has comprehensively assessed the disease and economic burden of HCV in Malaysia. The analyses were based on four key components, comprising the (i) clinical characteristics and disease stage of chronic hepatitis C patients at initial presentation to tertiary-care (ii) healthcare utilisation and cost implications of hepatitis C infection (iii) out-of-pocket payment, levels of medical impoverishment and catastrophic health payments due to OOP payments incurred by patients in various stages of liver disease and (iv) health state utility values among patient with various stages of liver disease relevant to chronic hepatitis C infection. Findings of this thesis demonstrate the existence of a considerable clinical and economic burden from hepatitis C disease in Malaysia on healthcare providers, affected patients and their households. The burden was significantly higher for patients in advanced stages of liver disease. Reducing the burden of hepatitis C could help to minimise the downstream clinical and economic implications This research also points to a need to scale-up in diagnosis and treatment nationally to ensure the HCV elimination target is achievable for Malaysia. It is expected that the findings from this thesis will complement and facilitate the Ministry of Health’s efforts to achieve hepatitis C elimination in Malaysia by 2030.

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