For memory world viral hepatitis dayhe Ministry of Health and Social Securitythe Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Bogota Health Secretariat have intensified campaigns to increase community awareness and action on these infections, to accelerate efforts and achieve their elimination, in the same way as to seek out and identify those whom they do not know but Know their diagnosis and need for treatment.
Therefore, Colombian authorities and health organizations call on the public to realize the importance of preventing viral diseases such as Hepatitis B and C And ask doctors to run diagnostic tests for any risk factors, especially for vulnerable people aged 50 or older, or people who haven’t been vaccinated in children and pregnant women, among others. In this way, health entities can apply stricter surveillance, detention and attention to those who need it. It must be taken into account that the higher the number of detected cases, the more likely it will be to implement the necessary therapeutic measures to control such infections.
Hepatitis B and C testing are covered under the Health Benefits Plan and the Health Promotion and Maintenance pathway mandates that everyone 50 years of age or older be tested for Hepatitis C and everyone who is not tested for Hepatitis C If you were vaccinated against hepatitis C as a child, you must be tested for hepatitis C. Hepatitis B, you should see your doctor and ask for this test, especially if you have unprotected sex with multiple sexual partners. Other risk factors for these hepatitis include a history of ingestion of psychoactive substances by injection or inhalation, history of blood transfusions prior to 1996, tattooing, piercing or body modification where the material was not sterile or needles were reused, among others.
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Hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccination, so pregnant women are asked to request a hepatitis B test during pregnancy and confirm that their child has been vaccinated against hepatitis B within the first 12 hours of life, in addition to continuing to be vaccinated against hepatitis B vaccine. Vaccination schedule to prevent this infection. In 2022, less than 80% of newborns will be vaccinated against hepatitis B, and only 87.5% of boys and girls under 1 year of age will complete the vaccination program in the first year of life.
It is important to note that there is no vaccine to prevent hepatitis C, but there are treatments that are effective in curing more than 95% of cases. The Ministry of Health and Social Security guarantees the purchase and supply of medicines needed in the country and distributes them through EPS to ensure timely access to medicines for those affected by the disease.
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In Colombia, the National Institutes of Health reported 2,622 cases of hepatitis B and 1,067 cases of hepatitis C in 2022, a 31.1% and 21.7% increase in confirmed cases, respectively, compared to 2021.
As of June 17, 2023, 1,205 cases of Hepatitis B have been reported, a trend similar to the previous year; 703 cases of Hepatitis C have been reported, an increase over the same period in 2023. 2022.
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According to the World Health Organization, in 2019, hepatitis B caused about 820,000 deaths worldwide, and hepatitis C caused about 290,000 deaths, mainly due to long-term untreated liver cirrhosis and liver cancer caused by these infections.