Free hepatitis testing in downtown PG

World Hepatitis day observed at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation

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

According to him, "Prior report suggested a prevalence of about 10-15 per cent risk in the Nigerian population, and some investigators have found high Hepatitis B prevalence among surgeons; as high as 26 per cent".

"Hep C is twice as prevalent among African Americans as it is among white persons, and two of the four neighborhoods with the highest rates of newly reported Hep C cases are right here in the Bronx".

A large turnout of the public from a variety of walks of life was witnessed at Sindh Institute of and Transplantation (SIUT) on Friday to avail the free screening and diagnostic facilities for Hepatitis on the World Hepatitis Day.

Hepatology Society General Secretary Shahinul Alam said 60% of cases of liver cirrhosis in Bangladesh were caused by HBV, while 30% was due to HCV. The most common types of hepatitis are hepatitis A, B, C and E. There is another type of hepatitis - hepatitis D - which only occurs in people who are already infected with the hepatitis B virus.

WHO Director for HIV and Hepatitis, Dr. Gottfried Hirnschall, said: "Eliminating hepatitis will require ongoing innovation, better medicines, and improved health services".

Viral hepatitis causes about 1.34 million deaths each year.

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"As someone who has been cured of Hepatitis C, I want to encourage everyone to go out and get tested", said Jackie Johnson, an Amida Care member and Bronx resident. World Health Organization activities have multiple objectives globally such as supporting testing and treatment, showcasing best practices in promoting hepatitis related services and improving partnership and funding in the fight against viral hepatitis.

Hepatitis, which is caused by an inflammation of liver tissue, remains one of the leading diseases in Indonesia, affecting millions of people. Many baby boomers have been living with the infection for years without knowing it.

Who's most at risk for hepatitis C?

A postal stamp was also launched on the occasion to sensitise people and spread awareness about the disease.

Helen Newsham, Healthcare Support Worker in the Communicable Disease Services at Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Hepatitis B and C are infections may not show symptoms for a long period, sometimes years or decades". If undiagnosed or untreated, it may lead to progressive scarring, known as fibrosis, and risks of cirrhosis and liver cancer.

In collaboration with the World Health Organisation, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare launched a National Viral Hepatitis control programme on July 28, 2018. But attention now needs to shift from the clinic to the community, creating increased awareness, wider prevention strategies and bringing more patients under the treatment umbrella early in the infection.

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