The Fight Against Hepatitis

by Medindia Content Team on  July 15, 2006 at 11:38 AM Health In Focus   - G J E 4
The control of hepatitis outbreak has become a burning issue in Asian countries, especially with around 1.5 million clinical cases of hepatitis occurring each year.
The Fight Against Hepatitis
The Fight Against Hepatitis

Looking at the main causes of this condition, we found that one of the main reason for this growing condition is due to ignorance towards prevention of the disease. In some instances, it was also found that the governments of some developing countries failed to provide basic facilities such as housing, clean drinking water and sanitation and medical healthcare to their community.

According to the World Health organization there are 400 million people in the world with hepatitis B and 75% of them live in Asia. Similarly a report has placed around 1.09 crore people to have chronic hepatitis C in India with a greater proportion of cases being reported from North Eastern India.

The predominant cause for hepatitis includes infection by the Hepatitis group of viruses. However there are other causes such as bacterial infections, excess alcohol intake, consumption of certain drugs and poisons.

Depending on the duration of hepatitis infection it is classified as acute and chronic hepatitis. What makes hepatitis a life threatening disease is that it can sometimes cause permanent liver damage or liver cancer and eventually leads to death if left untreated. Nonetheless, in many cases of chronic hepatitis treatment may become unaffordable by the underprivileged communities as treatment for liver failure or cancer means a liver transplant.

However on a positive note, even though hepatitis is growingly becoming a grave problem the prevention of the condition to a large extend is still in our hands. If one looks at the causes of this condition, one can find solutions with simple precautions like :

a) Effective blood bank screening,
b) Hepatitis B vaccination
c) Proper sanitation facilities.
d) More Community educational Programs like stressing the need for boiling water etc.
e) Prevention of alcohol abuse

As far as India is concerned, we have included the hepatitis B vaccination in our Immunization schedule to be given to all newborn infants; quality of screening of the donor blood has improved to a great extent. Provision of safe drinking water and proper sanitation facilities has been extended throughout the Indian subcontinent. However, it is still found that many of the interior regions of the country still face problems for this basic emanates.

The Indian Government is required to do much more extensive work in these regions and allocate a larger healthcare beget for the development and education of rural India. Only then can we quickly and successfully move towards drastically bringing down the number of infections every year of Hepatitis and communicable disease.

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