Health Care

"find, test, treat millions" who have hepatitis

Hepatitis virus

"Millions of people across the world and in the WHO South-East Asia Region are infected with viral hepatitis without knowing. less than one in 10 infected people are estimated to know their status", WHO Regional Director for South-East Asia Poonam Khetrapal Singh said.

World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28.

The NMA vice president, therefore, advocated awareness campaigns in order to encourage people to seek adequate medical attention for common symptoms.

He urged all authorities concerned to take necessary measures to inspire the people to prevent the liver related diseases.

Over 10% of Mongolia's 3 million people are living with chronic hepatitis infection. HBV and HCV infections account for more than 90% of those deaths.

If you are between 45 and 60, you are more likely to be unknowingly living with hepatitis C than any other age group.

Moreover, the vaccine, which includes three doses delivered as injections at 0, 1 and 6 months, is now easily available and affordable. In 2010, infants in around 150 countries accross the world were routinely given the vaccine.

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Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin (HBIG) may be used to protect persons who are exposed to Hepatitis B. It is particularly efficacious within 48 hours of the incident. "Both of them have some relationship because they are usually transmitted through blood and other body fluids", said Dr Enang. 15%-20% of all chronic liver disease and hepatocellular cancer HCC in India are caused by HCV.

Hepatitis B and C are chronic infections that may not show symptoms for a long time. Hence in 2008, World Hepatitis Alliance along with numerous patient groups declared May 19 as Hepatitis Day. Following on, the United Nations declared official recognition of this event in 2010. The Theme this year is -Eliminate Hepatitis. "I can't think of when I could have contracted the hepatitis C virus, so it never occurred to me that I should ask for this test", says Carol.

According to WHO, viral hepatitis B and C are major health challenges, affecting 325 million people globally, and they are the root causes of liver cancer, leading to 1.34 million deaths every year.

"For Hepatitis E and Hepatitis A Virus infections, hygiene and sanitation play a major role, while for Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C Virus, lifestyle and awareness are extremely important" he added.

He explained that without appropriate diagnosis and treatment, around one-third of those chronically infected with viral hepatitis would die as a result of serious liver diseases, including cirrhosis, liver cell cancer and liver failure. World Hepatitis Day is a reminder to talk to your doctor, know your risks, and get tested to stay healthy.

She was relieved to discover that testing and treatment are covered by the health insurance system in Mongolia, now a world leader in combating a high hepatitis burden.

Timely testing and treatment of viral hepatitis B and C can save lives.