Knowledge, Awareness, and Prevention of Hepatitis

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On the eve of World Hepatitis Day, Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals Kolkata spread awareness on Hepatitis, Liver Transplant and Organ Donation. Inflammations of the liver due to infections caused by various viruses namely Hepatitis A B C D and E result in viral hepatitis. It’s a major public health concern infecting millions of people annually. Some of these even cause hepatocellular carcinoma, liver cirrhosis and other fatalities. Currently it is estimated that 1 in 3 people in the world have been infected by either HBV or HCV.  Approximately, 200 million people are infected annually with hepatitis C or hepatitis B.

In endemic regions, more than 90% children get infected by HAV by the age of 10 years. Viral hepatitis results in around 1.4 million deaths each year. Prevention and control strategies for viral hepatitis include raising awareness through public education, vaccination, blood transfusion safety strategies, early diagnosis and effective medical support.

It is estimated that approximately 25,000 people per year require liver transplants in India, yet only 1,000-1,500 transplants take place. Apollo Gleneagles Hospitals, Kolkata is one of the few centres in eastern India that is running a successful liver transplantation programme with 100% success rate for donors and 80% success rate for recipients.

Currently 80% of liver transplants happen from living donors while 20% are cadaver transplants.  Organ transplantation is one of the greatest medical marvels of the 20th century, which has prolonged and improved lives of many worldwide.  At present, the cadaver transplant rate in India stands at around 0.34 per million, which is extremely low when compared to developed countries. And to combat the need of liver transplants the future figure has to be 80% cadaver donation and 20% live donation.

According to Professor Mahesh Kumar Goenka, Senior Gastroenterologist and Director, Institute of Gastro sciences and Liver AGHL, “Hepatitis is preventable by increasing awareness, sanitation, vaccination, early diagnosis and proper treatment. But for patients who need liver transplantation, we need to create awareness so that the rate of cadaver donation increases. Even in today’s time, people back out from cadaver donation because of lack of awareness, religious beliefs and superstitions, which need total eradication from our society.”

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