Lucknow, October 9 (IANS): Vaccination and early detection are key to eliminating hepatitis B and C, and India is fast on the path to eliminating the disease.
The World Health Organization aims to reduce new hepatitis infections by 90 per cent by 2030, experts said at the Uttar Pradesh Society of Gastroenterology annual conference ‘UPISGCON-2023’ that concluded here on Sunday. For this, focus should be on Hepatitis B vaccine coverage of 100% of all children born is currently between 70% and 80% in India.
“For hepatitis C, there is no vaccine yet, so complete treatment facilities are not yet available for all patients,” said Manoj Kumar Sharma of the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences in New Delhi.
“Vaccination has helped curb the cases of smallpox and polio in our country. We need to do the same with hepatitis. Reduce hepatitis cases to a level that poses little threat to our people,” said Gastroenterologist, Medical Gastroenterology, King George’s Medical University (KGMU) said Sumit Rungta, chief of enterology.
“The way to reduce hepatitis to harmless levels is to universally identify new cases as early as possible and treat them thoroughly,” said Long Ta, conference organizing secretary.
“Blood banks are also a sensitive point when it comes to hepatitis,” said Punit Mehrotra, chairman of conference organizing. “They need to adapt to the highest quality screening methods, such as nucleic acid testing (NAT), to stop Transfusion of infected blood. “
Doctors say the national strategy for viral hepatitis B and C focuses on strengthening existing prevention services and further expanding coverage of community diagnostic and treatment services.
Experts also say street food or fast food should be a big no-no for everyone.
“First of all, I would say don’t eat food from outside. But if you have to, first check the hygiene of the food stalls, pay attention to whether they use leftovers to cook, and pay attention to the personal hygiene of the chefs. Also pay attention to whether they use rotten food. Vegetables,” says Devesh Prakash Yadav, MD, Gastroenterology, Institute of Medical Sciences, Banaras Hindu University.