Prevention is better than cure - get tested for hepatitis

Monday, 29 Jul, 2019

- Good hygiene, including washing hands frequently, and avoiding contaminated water is important for preventing hepatitis A and E. Hepatitis A is most often spread via contaminated food or water or from close contact with a person or object that's infected.

He said before blood transfusion, people should ensure blood screening to check hepatitis B and C.

World Health Organisation (WHO) 2019 data showed 325 million around the world are living with Hepatitis B and C. Of these, 27 million have been infected with the B virus since 2016 while 13.1 million have been sick with the C virus since 2015. Hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of hepatitis but other infections, toxic substances, and autoimmune diseases can also cause hepatitis.

Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses cause inflammation of the liver, which, in return, can trigger serious illnesses and, in the worst case, even lead to death.

He said the public has a huge role to play by encouraging all persons to get tested to know their statuses, seek knowledge on the risk and mode of exposure to Hepatitis B and C, so they could prevent themselves from getting infected.

Pakistan has the second highest prevalence of HCV in the world.

JNIMS Assistant Professor and Gastroenterologist N Surajkumar said that hepatitis B and C are the most risky and life threatening, although there are other types of hepatitis as well. In Canada and around the globe, people are raising awareness about viral hepatitis.

Being well-informed about viral hepatitis is the first step. The NHSF was developed with input from National and Provincial Health Departments of the country; and technical assistance of Subject Matter Experts.

"This plan was brought under the supervision of WHO in January 2018 and according to the global health body's recent publication, Qatar is one of the top 10 leading countries that is on track to eradicate the Hepatitis C virus", the official explained.

She said, "The theme this year is, 'Invest in eliminating hepatitis.' It is a timely reminder that this disease can be eliminated by 2030 with adequate resources and strong political commitment". It is most commonly caused by hepatitis virus. According to a study conducted by World Health Organization, 16 billion injections are given worldwide, out of which more than 40 per cent injections are unnecessary.

A Gastroenterology specialist in Dubai, also an internist with over 25 years of work experience, has supported the call of a colleague in Abu Dhabi for more awareness campaign as well as for improved testing and diagnostics on liver health. In another study the risk factors for possible transmission were observed in people acquiring the services of barbers and dental surgeons using unhygienic instruments. "We need urgent investment by ministries to scale-up diagnosis and treatment now to reach the goal to eliminate hepatitis as a public health problem in the Americas by 2030", he added. It is estimated that about 400 million people are infected by hepatitis worldwide. Speak with your health care provider to make sure your vaccinations are up-to-date.