National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme to be launched today

Jul 29, 2018, 05:01
National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme to be launched today

"Region-wide, an estimated 40 million people live with chronic hepatitis B while an estimated 10 million live with chronic hepatitis C", she said. The survey, as New Age reported on Friday, also shows that 8.5 million people are infected with Hepatitis B virus and 1.5 million others with Hepatitis C virus in Bangladesh.

Hepatitis C disproportionately impacts disadvantaged and marginalised groups, such as people who inject drugs (PWID).

According to WHO, this year's 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. 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.

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Worldwide, mortality attributed to viral hepatitis has increased by 22% since 2000 despite decline in deaths caused by other infectious diseases, including HIV, tuberculosis, and malaria. Hepatitis A usually spreads when a person unknowingly ingests the virus from objects, food or drinks contaminated by small, undetected amounts of stool from an infected person.

Hepatitis C Virus is caused by a virus which infects the liver and over time causes scarring of the liver, thus preventing it from working normally. 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. People who are not already infected with hepatitis B can prevent hepatitis D by getting vaccinated against hepatitis B.

In collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched a National Viral Hepatitis control programme on July 28, 2018.

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Positive Living North is celebrating World Hepatitis Day by hosting free testing and a barbecue.

Now more than ever, we need political leadership and commitment to universal health coverage to ensure that everyone, everywhere, can access prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

Inflammation of the liver (commonly known as hepatitis) can result from viral infection and as all the symptoms are almost close enough, without a diagnostic test, it is impossible to differentiate. Such tests are useful in the long-term management of patients with hepatitis, to keep a track on the treatment progression. This, he said, would reduce the burden on the tertiary health facilities as people will not go there directly when they already have complications.

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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.