National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme launched

National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme launched

After realizing the gravity of these infections, and in recognition of the birthday of Professor Baruch Blumberg, who won the Nobel Prize for discovering the Hepatitis B virus, World Health Organization has chose to observe 28th July as the "World Hepatitis Day" to create awareness among the people about the infection, its consequences and ways and means to prevent the spread of this terrible and fatal disease. Around 70-80% of people with Hepatitis B or C do not even have any symptoms. The most common strains of Hepatitis are B & C, which affect millions of people in India.

"Within the first year of the national programme, which targeted the 40-65 year age group, we were able to reach more than 350 000 people with hepatitis testing", said Ms Davaajantsan Sarangerel, Minister of Health, Mongolia.

Regrettably, however, the government is anything but serious about successfully fighting this menace as there have been inadequate arrangement for Hepatitis B and C treatment. In addition, maintaining hygiene, avoiding roadside food and beverage, being careful in salons and tatoo parlours for avoiding infections and washing hands can help protect us from hepatitis, the experts suggested.

"Highly effective recombinant vaccines are now available".

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According to Dr. Akash Shukla, Consultant Hepatologist & Liver Transplant Physician, Global Hospital, "The challenge in eliminating chronic viral hepatitis is due to the infected person being unaware of their chronic carrier status and to the potential for them to continue to infect others for decades".

"All of the syringe exchange programs in upstate NY offer free hepatitis C testing". The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to liver fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer. And that it also causes two in every three liver cancer deaths? About 16 per cent of untreated acute hepatitis covers latent or chronic hepatitis B, and the risk is much higher in children. In the absence of additional efforts, 19 million hepatitis-related deaths can be anticipated from 2015 to 2030. Join us on World Hepatitis Day to make it happen. "When I found out I had hepatitis C, I was shocked".

He said the global effort led by the World Health Organisation was supported by all member states, while Pakistan was also a signatory to worldwide commitments made in the UN General Assembly in 2015 which adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which called on the global community to eliminate hepatitis.

The events will engage high-level leaders, advocates and patient representatives from global, regional and national organizations, highlighting the innovative solutions and partnerships needed in scaling up hepatitis testing and treatment services, as well as celebrating the country's championing experience in the global hepatitis response.

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