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 Table of Contents  
LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 104-105

Joining hands to eliminate viral hepatitis worldwide: An appeal to stakeholders


1 Vice-Principal Curriculum, Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Kancheepuram District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission11-Jun-2019
Date of Decision19-Jul-2019
Date of Acceptance17-Aug-2019
Date of Web Publication21-Jan-2020

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur-Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet Taluk, Kancheepuram District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/bjhs.bjhs_28_19

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Joining hands to eliminate viral hepatitis worldwide: An appeal to stakeholders. BLDE Univ J Health Sci 2021;6:104-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Joining hands to eliminate viral hepatitis worldwide: An appeal to stakeholders. BLDE Univ J Health Sci [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Dec 9];6:104-5. Available from: https://www.bldeujournalhs.in/text.asp?2021/6/1/104/276310



Dear Sir,

Viral hepatitis has been acknowledged as one of the major public health challenges that essentially require a prompt response.[1] This becomes the need of the hour as >250 million and 70 million individuals are living with chronic hepatitis B and C infection, respectively, worldwide.[2] In addition, the incidence of coinfection of HIV with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) is also on the rise and is quite alarming.[2],[3],[4] Moving on to the mortality aspect, the spectrum of viral hepatitis together accounted for 1.34 million deaths in 2015, which is much higher than the number of deaths attributed even to HIV infection.[2]

It is noteworthy that these diseases predominantly affect people from developing nations and accounts for a massive burden on the healthcare delivery system.[1] At the same time, in the absence of the appropriate and adequate treatment, the infected individual lands into chronic forms of the disease, which are life-threatening, and causes a major impact on the quality of the life of the affected person.[1],[2],[3],[4] Despite the presence of the above-mentioned problems, it is very much possible to eliminate the infections as a number of high impact interventions are available.[1],[2],[3],[4],[5] In fact, owing to the presence of a highly cost effective hepatitis B vaccine and the availability of direct acting anti virals (for hepatitis C), there are no doubts that the disease can be effectively contained.[1],[2]

The global leaders have set the target to ensure elimination of the disease by 2030 for which there is a need to reduce the incidence and mortality by 90% and 65%, respectively, by 2030.[1] However, the first and foremost step is to strengthen the surveillance activities for acute infections, chronic infections, and disease-related mortality.[2] In terms of prevention, significant progress has been made in the global efforts to ensure that the blood supply and injection safety are maintained, both of which together can significantly minimize the caseload due to HBV and HCV.[3],[4] In addition, the coverage of the third dose of HBV vaccine has also improved worldwide.[2]

A wide range of challenges are existing, including that major proportion of people are not aware of their infection status and that access to the recommended drugs is extremely poor.[1],[2] In addition, a very limited amount of financial support is available to support the national plans for the elimination of the disease.[2] Cost is the major reason because of which most of the infected people are not coming out to avail the drugs.[4] Further, there is a significant scope for research and innovations to improve our capacity to respond to the challenge of viral hepatitis.[2] In short, it is high time to mount a comprehensive response so that all the interventions are implemented in continuation, including services for prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and long-term care.[2],[3],[4],[5]

In conclusion, viral hepatitis is a major global public health concern, and to ensure its prevention and control, it is high time that all the stakeholders are involved and measures are taken to improve the reach of the available services.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strategic implementation of the global strategy for the containment of the viral hepatitis infections. J Curr Res Sci Med 2017;3:64-5.  Back to cited text no. 1
  [Full text]  
2.
World Health Organization. Global Hepatitis Report; 2017. Geneva: WHO Press; 2017. p. 1-13.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Preventing the acquisition and progression of chronic hepatitis B infection in middle and low income nations: World health organization. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1364-5.  Back to cited text no. 3
  [Full text]  
4.
Padami F, Alavian SM, Niazi M. The key role of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) activities in viral hepatitis elimination programs. Int J Health Policy Manag 2018;8:189-90.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.
Lim SG, Lee GH. Pathway to hepatitis elimination and control. Ann Acad Med Singapore 2018;47:435-7.  Back to cited text no. 5
    




 

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