India needs to change its attitude towards Hepatitis C

In India, the population prevalence of Hepatitis C is around 1 percent, which amounts to an estimated 12 million

deexa

Deexa Khanduri | January 30, 2019 | Delhi


#Humsafar Trust   #liver   #FIND   #Hepatitis C   #World Health Organisation  


 It is estimated that between six million to 11 million persons are infected with Hepatitis C annually. In India, the population prevalence of Hepatitis C is around 1 percent, which amounts to an estimated 12 million. This was revealed at the Hepatitis C sensitisation workshop organised by Foundation of Innovative New Diagnostic (FIND) in New Delhi. 

Hepatitis C virus is spread via infected blood, body fluids, etc. The virus infects the liver and over time causes scarring of the liver. It’s an inflammation which can be self-limiting or progress, causing liver fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer. It can also be contracted if someone comes in contact with the blood of someone who is affected and through the use of contaminated needles. 

“Hepatitis C is a common disease spread via infected blood, body fluids, unprotected sex, etc.  But, the societal attitude has not accepted hepatitis C as a common disease and has termed it a disease prevalent among LGBT community or people with open-mind. More awareness programmes needs to break the stereotype around Hepatitis C and people should stop labelling it with a particular community,” says Yashwinder Singh, programme manager, Humsafar Trust.
 
Dr Sanjay Sarin, Head, FIND India, says, “People connect the Hepatitis C as something more prevalent among people living in northeast area believing northeast has a high number of drug addicts. But, studies have clearly shown that the disease is more prevalent in North India, but, due to lack of studies, a patient dies a silent death of liver failure, without even knowing that he/she was suffering from Hepatitis C.”
 
The ministry of health affairs has collaborated with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to eliminate hepatitis by the 2030 and roll out the national viral hepatitis control programme wherein it has set up the national hepatitis cell at the central-level under the National Health Mission (NHM). Last year, the government declared Hepatitis C test cost-free in all government hospitals, in a private hospital the screening and confirmatory test of hepatitis C can cost anything between Rs 3,500 and Rs 5,000.
 
“The one who is at the higher risk includes healthcare worker exposed to infected blood, the child born to Hepatitis C-infected mothers and long term dialysis patients. But, we suggest everyone should test themselves with Hepatitis C test because, in more than 50 percent of the cases, the disease shows no symptoms till the last stage. Over 95% of the people with chronic Hepatitis C do know they are infected and therefore succumb to liver cirrhosis or cancer,” says Dr Sarin adding, “The treatment of Hepatitis C involves only 12 weeks medication.”
 
Only one out of ten people infected with Hepatitis C virus know their status, says Gagandeep Singh Grover, Punjab Hepatitis C programme officer.
 
“Only ten percent of the infected people know the status of their disease; anything could be the reason behind it. Lack of awareness, cost of medicine, not taking symptoms seriously, but it’s the responsibility of the government, and we’re committed to ending it by 2030,” Grover adds.
 

Comments

 

Other News

BFSI Needs Military-grade Cybersecurity Solutions to Detect the Most Advanced Attacks: Deloitte

In such unprecedented times, businesses are facing different kinds of risk, which has

“New guidelines suppress digital, social media, and OTT platforms”

The government’s recent notification to regulate digital media is an attempt to suppress all social media platforms including digital news platforms, Dr. Shama Mohamed, Congress Spokesperson, has said. Only digital news platforms are able to say what they want to say, so the government

Covaxin Phase 3 clinical trial shows 81% efficacy

India’s first indigenously produced Covid-19 vaccine, Covaxin, has shown an interim efficacy of 81% in Phase III trials for preventing the virus. Covaxin has been developed in India jointly by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) along with Bharat Biotech International Limited (BBIL). &

In Mumbai, 29 private hospitals join vaccination drive

In order to expand the vaccination drive, the centre has allowed 29 private hospitals in Mumbai not empanelled in central and state health schemes to be designated as Covid Vaccination Centres (CVC). After a virtual meeting with the chief minister and the BMC commissioner Tuesday evening, th

Spectrum auction concludes; response better than expected

India on Tuesday concluded the spectrum auction after a total of six rounds of bidding. The authorities described the response as better than expected, with total bids valued at Rs 77,814.80 crore. The quality of service and customer experience is expected to improve with deployment of additional spectrum

Covid-19 has increased nutrition gap. Public feeding programmes need to be enhanced

One of the most significant setbacks from the massive upheaval caused by the Covid-19 pandemic is its effect on food and nutrition security. The pandemic has compounded the already rampant social inequity by adversely affecting the socio-economic status of millions of families across the nation. In the giv

Visionary Talk Series with Dr. Shama Mohamed On the present state of Governance



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter