BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, July 27: The deadly Hepatitis has been taking a heavy toll on lives across the world with an estimated one million people falling to the disease every year. In India around 40 million are affected by Hepatitis B. The incidence of Hepatitis B and C is also increasing in the Northeast region.
This was stated by the department of Gastroenterology of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH), Bhabadev Goswami in a press conference here on Thursday.
Goswami said that according to world health organization (WHO) Hepatitis B virus is 100 times more infectious than even HIV, which spreads through blood and body fluid of an infected person.
He said that people who are at most risk for developing viral hepatitis are workers in the health care profession, people with multiple sex partners, intravenous drug users and hemophiliacs who receive blood clotting factors.
“About one third of all cases of hepatitis come from an unknown or unidentifiable source. This means that you don’t have to be in a high risk group in order to be infected with a hepatitis virus,” Goswami said.
Former GMCH professor Dr ren Barman said that the prevalence of Hepatitis B and C is high in the Northeast region with around .9% people are suffering from the disease.
He said that around 2% people are infected by the deadly disease.
Barman further said that even though Hepatitis B and C viruses are more perilous than HIV, people are not that much aware about its peril. “So spreading awareness about Hepatitis B & C is the need of the hour,” he added.
Dr Goswami said in order to raise awareness among people to prevent the disease, the Gastroenterology department of Gauhati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) in association with North East Digestive and Liver Foundation has launched a week-long Hepatitis awareness programme in sync with the World Hepatitis Day.
He said that awareness campaign will focus on a variety of programmes such as hepatitis screenings for the public, increasing hepatitis B vaccine coverage and creating public awareness.
Goswami said that as a part of the programme, an awareness rally—Run for Your Liver,” also being organized which will be taken out from GMCH campus to Nehru Stadium on July 30.