National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme to be launched today

Pearl Mccarthy
July 29, 2018

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.

The Democrat says the campaign will include increasing access to medications that can cure hepatitis C and expanding programs to connect people with prevention, screening and treatment services. Around four million people in South Africa are chronically infected with hepatitis B and C. City Health's drive in marking World Hepatitis Day is to encourage testing and to ensure a healthy lifestyle, which includes good personal and environmental hygiene.

The rise in Hepatitis B is because of multiple blood transfusions and surgical procedures that follow unsafe practices. Home to one quarter of the world's people, the region bears almost half of the global death toll from hepatitis.

Approximately 399,000 people die each year from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, and there is now no vaccine for hepatitis C, however, research in this area is ongoing.

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. Washing hands is another way one can prevent a hepatitis infection. Yes!

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For both Hepatitis B and C, treatment is most effective if initiated at an early stage.

HCV can cause severe liver damage and can lead to death if left untreated. By the time symptoms of liver disease appear, the disease is often found to be advanced. Progress has been made with the development and introduction of Tenofovir Alafenamide Fumarate (TAF) a potent and safe option for the long-term treatment of hepatitis B. Patients appropriately managed may avoid the complication of chronic hepatitis like cirrhosis, inflammation and liver failure. This risk is reduced by 90% with HBV vaccine given along with hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) starting at birth. It may also be given to neonates who are at increased risk of contracting Hepatitis B i.e. whose mothers are HBsAg and HBeAg positive.

The only way to know if you have hepatitis C is to get tested!

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.

Nearly 100 countries now recognize World Hepatitis Day each year through events such as demonstrations, concerts, talk shows, free screenings, poster campaigns, flash mobs and vaccination drives.

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