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Increasing viral hepatitis cases in Assam worry Centre

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  22 May 2017 12:00 AM GMT

From a Correspondent

New Delhi, May 21: The Centre has expressed serious concern over the increasing number of viral hepatitis cases in Assam. More significantly, such cases are majorly coming from the rural areas of the state.

“Yes, viral hepatitis is a major public health problem and the main cause of hepatitis is consumption of contamited water,” said Minister of State for Health Anupriya Patel.

According to a government statistics, as many as 10,215 habitations having 39,38,994 populations drink contamited water in several districts of the state.

As reported by The Sentinel earlier, an Assam Government ground report submitted to the Online Integrated Magement Information of the Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation has revealed that 10,215 habitations in the state are yet to be provided safe drinking water.

About 810 hepatitis cases had been reported in Assam in 2015 which increased up to 2688 in the very next year (2016). Significantly, the rest of the northeastern states, by and large, have registered decreasing number of hepatitis cases.

In Aruchal Pradesh 292 hepatitis cases had been reported in 2015 whereas the number has come down to 271 in 2016. Similarly in Meghalaya 299 hepatitis cases had been reported in 2015 whereas the number has come down to 236.

“Rural water supply is a State subject. Government of India supplements the efforts of the States by providing technical and fincial assistance under the centrally-sponsored tiol Rural Drinking Water Programme (NRDWP) for providing safe and adequate drinking water supply facilities in rural areas of the country,” an official in the Health Ministry said.

Admitting that viral hepatitis is a major public health problem in the country , the official said that surveillance can describe trends in type specific acute hepatitis including HAV and HEV.

A tiol programme on surveillance of viral hepatitis under the 12th Five Year Plan has been launched by the Government with an estimated budget of Rs 30 crore. tiol Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Delhi is coorditing the various activities under this programme. The initial funds have been released to NCDC and the surveillance activities have been initiated.

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