Hepatitis c viral infection has proved to be a dangerous and highly spreading disease for Indians. The virus of the disease attacks the liver and then led to inflammation. The cases of this Hepatitis c infection are increasing by 1 million per year. And SGPGIMS which is world health organization and is currently collaborating with the Indian government in the battle with Hepatitis c virus, says, approximately 0.6 to 1% of Indian population is suffering from this disease. That means almost 66lakhs to 1.32 crore people.
On the world Hepatitis-day that is on 28th July, the ministry of health and family welfare has taken the spreading problem from the infectious virus into consideration and decided to take steps for the betterment for people suffering from the disease and also preventing the rest from it.
If diagnosed earlier, the disease could be treated in 3 months but in most cases, people only visit the doctor when the symptoms become extreme and Hepatitis is at its terminal stage and that makes it hard to cure.
The government has decided to make people aware of the symptoms, causes and prevention of the disease. And also to provide the vaccines to newborn baby and the mother of the baby for Hepatitis-B, to avoid any further chances of having the disease. The government will provide the medicines at cheap and affordable rates required in the treatment and the government has also allotted few medical centers for the free diagnosis for the disease.
“SGPGIMS undertook a systematic review of available information from published studies and from large unpublished reliable datasets, to assess the prevalence of chronic HCV infection in the Indian population. The data were analyzed for quality and to assess the prevalence of overall HCV infections, and by age, sex, risk factors, and place in the country.”
Associate Professor and Gastroenterology from SGPGI, Dr. Amit Goel has said that “The meta-analysis included more than 300 studies representing all states and union territories except Lakshadweep”. He added that around 70% of persons tested positive for hepatitis C blood test needed treatment. Prevalence of hepatitis C in the high-risk groups such as persons living with HIV, those suffering from diseases such as hemophilia, thalassemia was found to be 30-40%.”
“Investment in hepatitis C treatment will be paid back within seven years as the money that goes in managing the complications of the disease would be saved,” he stated.
Head of surgical gastroenterology from King George’s Medical University, Prof Abhijit Chandra said, “Viruses causing hepatitis B and C nibble the liver for several years before the problem caused by them comes to light. But by this time, a simple infection develops into a disease called chronic hepatitis — the commonest cause of cirrhosis and liver cancers.”
“Immunisation has led to a 20-fold reduction in hepatitis B cases in 150 countries of the world where infants are routinely given the vaccine,” shared Prof Chandra.