‘Hepatitis C’ 83 percent more prevalent in north India

‘Hepatitis C’ 83 percent more prevalent in north India

In May 2010, the 63 World Health Assembly (a forum of WHO and world's highest health policy setting body) endorsed World Hepatitis Day and the date was changed to 28 July in honour of Nobel Laureate Dr. Baruch Blumberg (his birthdate), who discovered the Hepatitis B virus in 1967 and developed the first vaccine for Hepatitis B two years later. 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. In this respect, timely testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C can save lives.

Criticism of the government's reluctance to include vaccination for Hepatitis B in the infant immunisation program had till recently fallen on deaf ears. Additionally, people born in regions where hepatitis C is more common, such as in the Philippines where approximately one million people have hepatitis C, should also talk to their doctor about getting tested. In most cases, hepatitis is caused by viruses.

Another virus, the Hepatitis C virus, is also emerging as a major cause of liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

"Hepatitis is a viral infection that targets the cells of the liver and causes inflammation". 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. "The treatments are highly effective and in most cases, are accomplished in 8-12 weeks".

However, despite these incredible milestones against several devastating diseases, we are seeing an alarming increase in deaths due to viral hepatitis.

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The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Ministry of Health and Population organized Saturday a campaign to detect Hepatitis C virus at Al-Azhar Park from 4:00 p.m.to 8:00 p.m. titled, "Virus C: Us or It ". About 16 per cent of untreated acute hepatitis covers latent or chronic hepatitis B, and the risk is much higher in children.

Amida Care, a not-for-profit New York community health plan; the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc.(NBLCA); New York City Council Member Andy Kingand Deputy Bronx Borough President Marricka Scott-McFadden partnered with advocates, local leaders and health care providers at The Mall at Bay Plaza on National African American Hepatitis C Action Day to encourage Bronx residents to get screened for Hepatitis C. With the development of new antiviral drugs, hepatitis C could now be treated effectively. In the absence of additional efforts, 19 million hepatitis-related deaths can be anticipated from 2015 to 2030.

The theme for this year -Eliminate Hepatitis - was highlighted through a health talk by Saikia where the significance of adopting preventive measures for reducing the spread of hepatitis B and C virus was explained.

They made the call in separate messages on the eve of the World Hepatitis Day 2018 to be observed in the country tomorrow as elsewhere in the world aiming at enhancing awareness about the deadly virus.

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