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

3 out of 4 Covid-19 patients in 21-60 yrs age group

Contrary to the perception that the elderly are more at risk from Covid-19, in India as many as 41.88% of corona positive cases are between 21 to 40 years of age. Also, 32.82% positive cases are between 41 to 60 years, followed by 16.69% cases above the age of 60 years and 8.61% coronavirus positive cases

Why everyone should wear mask

In view of the increasing number of COVID -19 cases in the country, the ministry of health and family welfare (MoHFW) has now advised that everyone must voluntarily wear a mask and especially those living in densely populated areas.   Not just as a matter of maintaining personal hygiene

Fighting Covid-19, India has realized its collective strength: PM

In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, people of India have realized their collective strength, prime minister Narendra Modi said in a short video message Friday morning. He also urged people to light lamps Sunday night as a gesture of this collectivity. “Today marks nine days of the na

COVID-19 demobilisation: Lessons for public governance

Demobilization, like its predecessor – demonetization, is another decision gone bad in implementation.  In both instances a careful public administrative action through its governance systems could have saved the magnitude of impact particularly on the most vulnerable sections of the society. Th

Don’t fear Corona, fight it

In a bid to break the “chain of transmission” of the deadly Covid-19, India, a country with more than 1.3 billion population, observed a voluntary ‘Janata Curfew’ on March 22. This has been followed by a 21-day, nationwide lockdown from March 24. Prime minister Narendra Modi also re

Sci-Tech Empowered Committee set up for COVID-19

To take speedy decisions on research and development for Sars-Cov-2 virus and COVID-19, the government has constituted a Science and Technology Empowered Committee. The committee, set up on March 29 and chaired by Niti Aayog member, professor Vinod Paul and professor K Vijay Raghavan, princi



Archives

Current Issue

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter