World Hepatitis Day celebrations

Conducted by: Urban Health Training Center, Civil Dispensary Sector 38, Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh

Theme: Find The Missing Millions

Under the guidance of Dr Kathirvel S, Asst. Professor, Department of Community Medicine, School of Public Health, PGIMER, Chandigarh, World Hepatitis Day was celebrated by Senior resident, Dr Har Ashish Jindal with Multipurpose health worker Ms Rupinder Kaur organized a community level awareness programme among the students of Sri Guru Harkrishan Model School, Sector 38, Chandigarh. Senior Resident Dr Har Ashish Jindal addressed an audience of 60- 70 students and highlighted the significance of world hepatitis day with a background of the celebration of this day since 1963. For 2018, World Health Organization has endorsed the need to find the millions as majority of the people don’t know their hepatitis status.

Doctor started with highlighting how an individual is prone to hepatitis during his life time. He told that an individual can get infected with hepatitis at any age, it may be due to bad personal hygiene, blood transfusion, tattooing or using unsafe injection practices. He emphasized that simple hand washing can play major role in prevention of hepatitis A and E. Reuse of used needles or infected blood does not only lead hepatitis but other diseases such as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection. Such practices should be discouraged at every end, it may be at the end of the doctors or vigilant consumers.

The role of vaccination was emphasized in prevention of hepatitis. It was told that Hepatitis B vaccine is being provided by the government to the children at 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks as a component of pentavalent vaccine and the vaccine of Hepatitis A is also available. The prevention of mother to child transmission of hepatitis B can also be done through HBV vaccination within 24 hrs of birth. For adults, there is regime of 3 injections that are given at 1 month and 6 month interval from the first injection. It was also told that vaccine is safe and has minimal side effects and everyone should get themselves vaccinated if not already done.

The students were enthusiastic and asked upon the difference among the severity of the various hepatitis. It was addressed that hepatitis had a large spectrum ranging from asymptomatic stage to death. There may be acute or chronic hepatitis, but treatment of hepatitis is available and management is possible if status is known early. Hence, the status of viral hepatitis is of utmost importance and should be known to every individual.

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Editor in Chief of City Darpan, national hindi news magazine.

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