5.2 Crore Living With Hepatitis B And C In India, Says WHO As Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal And Thailand Achieve ControlA rural hospital in India. (Uriel Sinai/Getty Images) (representative picture)

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has declared that Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal and Thailand have successfully gained control over Hepatitis B becoming the first countries in the South-East Asia Region to do so, Tribune has reported.

Prevalence of the disease has reduced to less than 1 per cent of the among 5-year-old children in the countries said the declaration on World Hepatitis Day. WHO estimates put the national prevalence of Hepatitis B and C in India at 4 per cent and 1.2 per cent of the population respectively.

“As many as 40 million people in India live with chronic HBV and 12 million with the chronic HCV virus. And yet we have been looking for a concerted national response to these killer viruses. The solution lies in administering HBV vaccine at birth to each of our 2.7 crore newborns annually. Hepatitis C, on the other hand, can be addressed by screening the population and later providing them free treatment. There is no vaccine for HCV,” says Samir Shah, founder, National Liver Foundation.

WHO and government numbers suggest that as many as 1 million people die of liver diseases due to the Hepatitis viruses every year. The viruses lead to chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and liver cancer and can stay dormant in a person’s body for 20 to 30 years without symptoms. The diseases spread from person to person mainly due to unsafe transfusion and injection practices through contaminated blood.

An Appeal...

Dear Reader,

As you are no doubt aware, Swarajya is a media product that is directly dependent on support from its readers in the form of subscriptions. We do not have the muscle and backing of a large media conglomerate nor are we playing for the large advertisement sweep-stake.

Our business model is you and your subscription. And in challenging times like these, we need your support now more than ever.

We deliver over 10 - 15 high quality articles with expert insights and views. From 7AM in the morning to 10PM late night we operate to ensure you, the reader, get to see what is just right.

Becoming a Patron or a subscriber for as little as Rs 1200/year is the best way you can support our efforts.

Become A Patron
Become A Subscriber