Friday, 19 October, 2018

WHO Seeks Urgent Increase in Hepatitis Testing, Treatment

Free hepatitis testing in downtown PG Urgent increase in hepatitis testing and treatment needed
Gustavo Carr | 29 July, 2018, 04:46

President Abdul Hamid and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today urged the government and non-government organizations, institutions and individuals to create awareness among the people to control the deadly disease like Hepatitis. Globally, out of the 325 million people who live with hepatitis, only 9 percent and 20 percent of those infected with hepatitis B and C respectively have been diagnosed.

The number of reported cases of hepatitis C, a viral condition that can infect the liver, increased over the past decade in IL, state health officials said Friday. Around 70-80% of people with Hepatitis B or C do not even have any symptoms.

"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. In most cases, hepatitis is caused by viruses.

There are a total of five different types of Hepatitis- A, B, C, D and E, of which B and C are the most common.

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The total number of reported cases of hepatitis C was up 43 percent from just under 6,890 in 2006 to almost 9,840 in 2017, according to the IL health department. Reinvigorated action and investments in viral hepatitis are necessary to achieve a world where transmission is halted and everyone living with viral hepatitis has access to safe, affordable and effective care and treatment. Of these, almost 25%, i.e. over 1 million, may develop chronic liver disease within 2 decades and 1%-4% of them may develop liver cancer. About 16 per cent of untreated acute hepatitis covers latent or chronic hepatitis B, and the risk is much higher in children.

Finally, India is witnessing a reduction in prevalence rates of Hepatitis B. The rates for Hepatitis C are still high, though largely due to increase in IVDU in northern and eastern states.

"This lack of awareness and treatment lead to progressive liver damage and can cause life-threatening conditions such as fibrosis and liver cancer, resulting in an estimated 410,000 deaths in the region every year", Singh said. "That task force will take a set of recommendations that have been developed by community members, by Hepatitis C experts, by health care providers, by public health experts". World Hepatitis Day is a reminder to talk to your doctor, know your risks, and get tested to stay healthy. One of the things we are trying to get people to do is get the test, so they are aware of their status and get treated if they have it. "The regulatory authorities have also managed to curb and significantly reduce the rampant use of substandard manual screening devices, a major source of spread of hepatitis in Pakistan".