Dr Lampen-Smith completed her training in Gastroenterology in 2014. Within her training she also achieved a Masters with a focus on palliative care in end stage liver disease. In 2015 she did a Fellowship in General and Transplant Hepatology at the Princess Alexandra Hospital, Brisbane, Australia. Since returning to New Zealand she has been working as a Gastroenterologist with the Bay of Plenty District Health Board, specialising in hepatology. Dr Lampen-Smith is also the Clinical Director of The Hepatitis Foundation of New Zealand. This involves clinical management, research and analysis of chronic Hepatitis B across New Zealand."
The New Era Of Hepatitis C Assessment And Treatment
Hepatitis C is a common condition with 50,000 people in New Zealand estimated to be affected. It is likely that half of those are unaware of their status. The condition has a number of significant hepatic and extra-hepatic manifestations that can cause considerable morbidity and mortality for those affected.
Hepatitis C has historically been very difficult to treat as the available medications were complex to use, had poor efficacy and considerable side effects. In recent years there has been significant advancement in the treatment options available for this virus. Cure is now achievable for 95% of those affected with all oral, well tolerated, “Direct Acting Antivirals” (DAAs). Simplified treatment regimens now allow most people to be treated in primary care rather than by specialists in secondary care.
Complete eradication of Hepatitis C is possible within our generation. This will require collaboration between physicians, nurses, primary care, peer organisations and legislators to remove the barriers to diagnosis and treatment.