IMPHAL, July 28: The World Hepatitis Day, 2012 under the theme ‘it’s closer than you think’ was also observed by several organizations in the state as in other parts of the world today.
Recovery Alliance (R/A) of MNP Plus organized a simple function at the conference hall of the MNPplus secretariat at Yaishkul Hiruhanba Leikai.
The function was attended by psychiatry Dr Angomacha Singh, Recovery Alliance of MNPplus, president, RK Pururaj, SASO general secretary Y Sashi Kumar and Public Health activist, advocate I Vikramjit Singh as the chief guest, president and the guests of honour, respectively.
The observation was also attended by several others.
Dr Angomacha Singh in his speech said there are five different forms of Hepatitis which are classified as A, B, C, D and E.
Elaborating on the danger looming upon the world due to the spread of the diseases, he said there are more than 50 crores affected cases known in the world today.
He further lamented the failure of the government to act on the issue even after such widespread of the disease.
“Hepatitis B is preventable with its effective vaccine already available; however there is still no vaccine in the world for Hepatitis C”.
“Hepatitis B is mainly transmitted through exposure to infective blood, semen and other body fluids and it can be also transmitted from infected mothers to infants at the time of birth or from family member to infant in early childhood.”
He further elaborated on other ways of transmission of the HBV.
Discussing the spread and transmission of Hepatitis C, he said it is mainly transmitted through exposure to infective blood and may happen through transfusions of HCV-contaminated blood and blood products.
Sexual transmission is also possible, but is much less common, he said.
He continued that there is no known vaccine and treatment of HCV.
“Medications for HCV have many side-effects and are generally very strong.”
The day was also observed at the AMADA Mayai Loisang organized by the association with a panel discussion on “Hepatitis” attended by the Directorate of Health Services, Director, Sh Shurchandra Sharma and AMADA Mayai Loisang vice president Yumnam Sundari Leima as the chief guest and president respectively.
Chief guest of the observation, Shurchandra started his speech by appreciating the AMDA for observing the day.
In his address, Shurchandra Sharma said the Directorate of Health Services will organized a meeting on August 3 attended by several specialists on the issue.
He continued that there is a proposal with the government regarding provision of an amount of Rs One lakh for Hepatitis B and C affected individuals living under the BPL for treatment; however the government is yet to pass the provision.
Due to lack of awareness on the disease, people consider the disease lightly, however Hepatitis is very dangerous and both the people and the government should not take it lightly.
In his key note address, AMADA general secretary, Phoni Meetei said neither the union government nor the state government have provided access to vaccination of Hepatitis B, testing for HBV, HCV as a part of any public health program.
“Non-availability of any treatment guideline or counseling protocol leaves the medical professionals, health care service providers and persons living with HBV/HCV uncertain on the support system and clinical care required further.”
He also said that, “lack of treatment amongst the general population and people who use drugs at large has put the risk of HBV and HCV becoming a public health disaster in the next few years”.