Tuesday, March 28

Calcutta gets second Hepatitis treatment hub

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The city will get its second dedicated viral hepatitis treatment centre by the year end, health department officials said on Sunday.

The centre will come up at the School of Tropical Medicine along with 14 more in districts across the state. The city’s first such centre was set up earlier this year at SSKM Hospital, where the viral hepatitis OPD runs every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, a senior health department official said.

Besides SSKM, Bengal’s only other viral hepatitis treatment centre is at North Bengal Medical College and Hospital, an official said.

“The dedicated treatment centres will help screen a large population. Hepatitis infection is often unknown to the carriers themselves. By the time they get to know about the infection, the disease may have progressed much,” said the official, who was present at a convention on hepatitis at Nandan on Sunday.

“While Hepatitis C infection can be cured, Hepatitis B infection can only controlled, not cured.”

The treatment centres will provide lifelong management care for Hepatitis B patients, the official said.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) website defines hepatitis as “an inflammation of the liver” that “can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer”.

Experts said that early diagnosis and treatment could prevent deterioration of health.

Earlier in the morning, Liver Foundation, West Bengal, a not-for-profit organisation that works for prevention and cure of liver diseases, organised a rally from Victoria Memorial to Nandan to spread awareness about hepatitis.

The foundation also organised a daylong campaign at Nandan.

“This year we have used the three figures 28-29-30 as part of our campaign. July 28 is World Hepatitis Day. We have resolved to undertake 29 different activities to prevent and cure hepatitis,” said Partha Sarathi Mukherjee, the director of Liver Foundation.

The number 30 is to remind that WHO has given a call to eliminate hepatitis B and C by 2030.

Some of the ways in which the hepatitis B and C viruses can be transmitted are reuse or inadequate sterilisation of medical equipment, exposure to infected blood, tattooing and contact with infected body fluids.

Mukherjee said the foundation would be training owners of tattoo studios and barbers so that they make their salons safe and do not undertake unhygienic practices that could help spread the virus.


Source: The Telegraph

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