Health ministry launches National Viral Hepatitis Control programme

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According to him, "Prior report suggested a prevalence of about 10-15 per cent risk in the Nigerian population, and some investigators have found high Hepatitis B prevalence among surgeons; as high as 26 per cent".

NLFB will also conduct free hepatitis B & C screening in its office on World Hepatitis Day along with several other awareness building activities. It was in the year 2015 that a group of healthcare professionals took the baton to stem this tide by raising public awareness about common but deadly and silent diseases to contribute to the well being of society at large and GI RENDEZVOUS came into existence.Ever since, the team has been busy trying every bit to sensitise all sections of the society.

Out of the 325 million people living with viral hepatitis globally, upward of 290 million (that's 9 in 10!) are living with the hepatitis B or hepatitis C and don't know it. The new, direct-acting antiviral treatments first became available in the United Kingdom to patients with fibrosis or cirrhosis (hardening and advanced liver damage) in 2015.

Hepatitis, which is an inflammation of the liver tissue, is caused by a virus known as viral hepatitis. In a study in which families of 225 patients who had tested positive for Hepatitis B were screened, additional infected individuals were detected in 45 (20 percent). Hepatitis b and hepatitis c virus infection usually cause chronic hepatitis, which leads to liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and death.

Hepatitis B virus may infect other members of the family; hence, all members of the family of an infected person should undergo screening tests. HBV and HCV infections account for more than 90% of those deaths. We strongly encourage anyone who may have been at risk of hepatitis C infection to get tested, whether or not they have any symptoms.

The Western Pacific Region has the largest number of people living with chronic hepatitis infections among the 6 World Health Organization regions.

He explained that without appropriate diagnosis and treatment, around one-third of those chronically infected with viral hepatitis would die as a result of serious liver diseases, including cirrhosis, liver cell cancer and liver failure.

Dr Kapoor advises, "Please remember that these infections are very easy to treat at the early stages of the liver disease but once you develop a chronic scarring in the liver, the infections become more hard to handle and the treatment also becomes much, much longer". The campaign aims to spread awareness about hepatitis, its symptoms, treatment and prevention.

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. Govt has released Rs. 28 crores for this goal."World hepatitis Day" is observed annually by World Health Organisation (WHO) with focus on the theme: "Test. Treat. Hepatitis" for World Hepatitis Day 2018 events.

"One of the highest risk groups right now is baby boomers and for hep C that is defined pretty broadly for people born between 1945 and 1975", says, Kyla Turner, Community Health Educator.