Experts stressed for mass awareness to avoid 'Hepatitis C'

Henrietta Brewer
July 29, 2019

The cycle ride provided a platform to hold discussion on the ailment for doctors, general public, patients and policy makers.

Another expert Dr Sumera said "Vaccination against hepatitis A, B and C should be part of a comprehensive plan for the prevention and control of viral hepatitis as it is the best way to control the disease". It is causing 1.4 million deaths every year.

Much like HIV or hypertension, many people don't know that they have contracted hepatitis until they complete a blood test which is very basic.

"Today, 80 per cent of people living with hepatitis can't get the services they need to prevent, test for and treat the disease", said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, adding that on World Hepatitis Day, which will be observed on Sunday "we're calling for bold political leadership, with investments to match. By investing in diagnostics test and medicines for treating hepatitis B and C, countries can save lives and reduce cost related to long-term care of cirrhosis and liver cancer that result from untreated hepatitis", he said.

Hepatitis A and E are the ones that are caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water.

Viral hepatitis includes the group of infectious diseases known as hepatitis A, B, C, D and E. The World Health Organization reports that these five types are of greatest concern "because of the burden of illness and death they cause and the potential for outbreaks and epidemic spread".

According to medical research, chronic hepatitis may lead to liver scarring, liver failure and liver cancer.

The type of hepatitis is named after the kind of virus that causes it.

In 2016, it said around 14 per cent of individuals with Hepatitis C have been diagnosed, while less than one per cent have been treated in Latin America and the Caribbean. Over 90% of new hepatitis B infections occur through mother-to-child transmission and during the early age of childhood.

Usually people from poor economic background, with insufficient health facilities, getting unscreened blood transfusions, using intravenous drug and having minimum awareness about communicable diseases stumble upon the disease easily.

But as a effect of more research on liver diseases since 1999, recent documentations have revealed "obesity, diabetes, hypertension and dyslipidemia are high risk factors that can lead to the deposition of fat in the liver which if increased over time will lead to the inflammation of the liver cells called NASH".

"Hepatitis patients are also advised against donating blood as the infection can be passed on to the recipient", he said, adding that safe sex practices could also prevent the spread of the disease.

Referring to the recent Hepatitis A virus outbreak in the US, Dr al-Maslamani maintained that there have been no recent outbreaks in Qatar, which she attributes in part to the strict implementation of the recommended routine Hepatitis A vaccination for all children in the country. In Canada and around the globe, people are raising awareness about viral hepatitis.

- If you are living with hepatitis C, then a three-month treatment can cure the infection.

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