Health ministry to roll out Hepatitis B vaccination in 14 districts

Frederick Owens
July 29, 2018

It is caused by a variety of various viruses: Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E.

He shared that within Pakistan nearly 12 million people are suffering from Hepatitis B or C. Each year brings about 150,000 new cases.

The prevalence rate of hepatitis B (HBV) in Bangladesh is 5.1%, while that for hepatitis C (HCV) is 0.2%, said Hepatology Society President Prof Mobin Khan as quoted by BSS.

NLFB will also conduct free hepatitis B & C screening in its office on World Hepatitis Day along with several other awareness building activities. Hepatitis is a condition relating to inflammation of the liver and is commonly caused due to a viral infection.

They said viral hepatitis could become "2nd polio for Pakistan" as entire world was planning for its elimination by 2030 but in Pakistan, majority of people didn't even know that they were infected with hepatitis B and C, and adding feared that harsh travel restrictions could be imposed on Pakistanis if viral hepatitis was not controlled in Pakistan by 2030.

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

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They are root causes of liver cancer, leading to 1.34 million deaths every year. Past themes included "Get tested" and "This is hepatitis". "On the occasion of "World Hepatitis Day" Brahm Mohindra, Health & Family Welfare and Medical Education & Research Minister, Punjab called upon healthcare workers not only to generate awareness amongst masses but also to work towards the goal of 'Eliminating hepatitis". According to their official report 'Eliminate Hepatitis, ' "Viral hepatitis affected 325 million people worldwide in 2015, with 257 million people living with hepatitis B and 71 million people living with hepatitis C - the two main killers of the five types of hepatitis". Numerous cases in individuals younger than 35 years of age have been linked to injection drug use.

Hepatitis is widespread in India, standing fourth among 11 countries which carry nearly 50 per cent of the global burden of chronic hepatitis. Though hepatitis is preventable and treatable, most people do not have access to testing and treatment.

There was an extensive panel discussion session on blood safety and hepatitis spread.

During the day long proceedings, visitors were screened for hepatitis C, received hepatitis B vaccination and went through ultrasound of the abdomen to ascertain the possibility for any liver disease. If undiagnosed or untreated, it may lead to progressive scarring, known as fibrosis, and risks of cirrhosis and liver cancer. Once diagnosed, it can be treated and cured.

Government will launch the National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme in New Delhi on World Hepatitis Day today. We are seeing the greatest increase of new infections among young people with a history of injection drug use and sharing drug use equipment like needles, cottons, water or cookers increases the risk of getting the illness.

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