Viral hepatitis preventable, curable: BGS

7pc people carry viral Hepatitis B; 1pc Hepatitis C

27 Jul 2017, 21:08

Online Desk

Dhaka: Bangladesh Gastroenterology Society (BGS) on Thursday said some 7 percent people in Bangladesh are infected by Hepatitis B and around 1 percent with Hepatitis C viral diseases though these are 'preventable and curable'.

BGS Vice President Prof Projesh Kumar Roy at a media interaction at Dhaka Reporters Unity (DRU) said around 1 crore people in the country are infected by viral hepatitis but not all of them are sick.

World Hepatitis Day (WHD), which falls on July 28, brings the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of viral hepatitis and influence the real change, according to the official webpage available elaborating the day's activities.

One of just four disease-specific global awareness days officially endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), WHD unites patient organisations, governments, medical professionals, civil society, industry and the general public to boost the global profile of viral hepatitis.

Prof Roy, also the Chairman of Gastroenterology department, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University BSMMU), said the treatment cost of such diseases are more 'affordable' now than anytime in the past.

This year the world is marking the world hepatitis day under the theme of 'Eliminate Hepatitis'.

Some have infection in body but no disease and some have both, Prof Roy said adding that a significant number of virus affected diseases can be controlled.

He said hepatitis A and E are preventable and curable which are water and food-borne ones. If people have safe drinking water and hygienic food, there are no chances to get infected with the virus, said Prof Roy.

Hepatitis B and C are blood-borne ones and the prime reason of those is liver cirrhosis and cancer which can lead a person to death, he added.

He said hepatitis B is also curable by vaccination though there is no vaccination for hepatitis C. "If the virus can be identified in the very primary stage the disease can be cured through treatment.

BGS General Secretary of Prof Farque Ahmed said it is an important public health issue and public awareness is a must to end this problem.

The virus can be eliminated by creating greater awareness among people, increased diagnosis and key interventions including universal vaccination, blood and injection safety, harm reduction and treatment, he added.