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Published: Sun, July 29, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

Around 80% of people don't realise hepatitis C can lead to cancer

Around 80% of people don't realise hepatitis C can lead to cancer

Viral hepatitis are the Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E viruses.

He shared that within Pakistan nearly 12 million people are suffering from Hepatitis B or C. Each year brings about 150,000 new cases.

"Hep C is twice as prevalent among African Americans as it is among white persons, and two of the four neighborhoods with the highest rates of newly reported Hep C cases are right here in the Bronx".

A large turnout of public representing all walks of life was witnessed at Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) on Friday to avail the free screening and diagnostic facilities for Hepatitis as a part of World Hepatitis Day.

Marking World Hepatitis Day, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) called on people to take action to find the "missing millions", including intravenous drug users and people in prison. 15%-20% of all chronic liver disease and hepatocellular cancer HCC in India are caused by HCV. World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that in 2015, viral hepatitis was responsible for 1.34 million deaths per year. Those who develop chronic hepatitis, subsequently develop cirrhosis which has effect on the brain and bleeding or jaundice and then end up requiring a transplant or they develop a liver cancer.

With deaths from opioids tripling in the county over the last five years, state officials said it's no surprise that hepatitis C is on the rise as well.

About 80% of hepatitis C cases are asymptomatic, making diagnosis and treatment challenging.

"World's target is elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030 like polio from the entire world and there is no reason that it can not be eliminated".

NY is now home to the nation's first strategy to eliminate hepatitis C, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo. Hepatitis is a disease that is common and widespread in India.

Where individuals test positive for hepatitis B or C, access to effective and affordable treatment is vital. Unless detected and treated, it can lead to disease, cirrhosis or liver cancer.

Hepatitis A is a viral disease of the liver and is spread from person to person by the "fecal-oral" route, often by inadequate handwashing after using the toilet or changing diapers.

"One of the highest risk groups right now is baby boomers and for hep C that is defined pretty broadly for people born between 1945 and 1975", says, Kyla Turner, Community Health Educator.

Adamu said that the World Hepatitis Day is set aside by WHO, to increase awareness on viral hepatitis, improve its prevention, enhance early detection as well as to ensure prompt treatment, promote control efforts and ultimately eliminate it in the society.

Observers have blamed manpower deficit for the rising incidence of the disease in the country, lamenting that with less 100 hepathologists in the country, it is hard for those diagnosed of hepatitis to see a physician as HBV patients queue for three months before seeing a hepathologist.

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