Viral Hepatitis

The Health Ministry has decided to roll out an initiative for prevention and control of viral hepatitis to address aspects such as surveillance, awareness generation, safe blood and injection safety to combat the disease.

Under the initiative, the ministry has decided to establish a state coordination unit under the state NHM for an efficient rollout of the programme in 26 large and four small states, a senior Health Ministry official said.

There is also a plan to set up 50 state laboratories for assisting in diagnosis and training of the district hospitals for the screening of hepatitis.

The ministry intends to scale up to 100 treatment and 665 testing centres over a period of next three years.

Components such as surveillance, awareness generation, immunisation, safe blood, injection safety infection control, diagnosis of viral hepatitis, capacity building, research and monitoring would be addressed under the initiative, the official said.

India is committed to ending viral hepatitis by 2030.

What is viral hepatitis?

Inflammation of liver is usually referred as hepatitis. Viral hepatitis is a widespread infectious disease normally caused by the hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E. The condition can progress to liver fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.  It can be caused by any of the known five hepatotropic viruses, namely —   hepatitis A, B, C, D and E which are highly divergent in their structure, epidemiology,  mode of transmission, incubation period, signs/symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment options.

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