Awareness, attention needed to combat hepatitis

The body said this ahead of the World Hepatitis Day (WHD) on 28, July. Hepatitis B virus and Hepatitis C virus are predominantly spread via parenteral route and are notorious to cause chronic hepatitis which can lead to grave complications including cirrhosis of liver and hepatocellular carcinoma.

Millions of people across the world and in the WHO South-East Asia Region are infected with viral hepatitis without knowing and without receiving treatment, according to Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia.

Hepatitis is a term used to describe the inflammation of the liver as a result of viral infection or exposure to harmful or toxic substances such as drugs or alcohol.

She was relieved to discover that testing and treatment are covered by the health insurance system in Mongolia, now a world leader in combating a high hepatitis burden. Liver disease experts say that Hepatitis B patients each are required to spend at least Tk 80 a day as long as they live and for Hepatitis C patients, the cost of treatment for 12 weeks could vary between Tk 60,000 and Tk 90,000.

Hepatitis is a liver disease or infection generally characterised by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissues of liver.

"The more people who get treatment, the fewer new infections there will be". The rise in hepatitis C cases corresponds with the opioid epidemic in IL.

" WHO South-East Asia is committed to supporting Member States find, test and treat the missing millions suffering viral hepatitis and to harness the full potential of available tools".

Antiviral medicines can cure more than 95 per cent of persons with hepatitis C infection, thereby reducing the risk of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low.

According to him, "Prior report suggested a prevalence of about 10-15 per cent risk in the Nigerian population, and some investigators have found high Hepatitis B prevalence among surgeons; as high as 26 per cent". This is despite the fact that the number of people chronically infected with, and the number of deaths caused by, hepatitis B and C is on the same scale as these conditions.

The campaign was launched on the occasion of the International Day of Hepatitis 2018, President Sisi's initiative and non-governmental organizations which are interested in combating hepatitis viruses. In a study in which families of 225 patients who had tested positive for Hepatitis B were screened, additional infected individuals were detected in 45 (20 percent). We are seeing the greatest increase of new infections among young people with a history of injection drug use and sharing drug use equipment like needles, cottons, water or cookers increases the risk of getting the illness.

"For Hepatitis E and Hepatitis A Virus infections, hygiene and sanitation play a major role, while for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Virus, lifestyle and awareness are extremely important" he added.

  • Santos West