India's High Burden of Viral Hepatitis

  • 10 Apr 2024

According to a study published on 9th April, India faced a significant burden of viral hepatitis, with millions affected and thousands dying annually.

Key Points

  • High Burden of Infection: India ranks among the countries with the highest burden of viral hepatitis, with millions affected by Hepatitis B and C infections, leading to significant mortality rates.
  • Need for Vaccination: Vaccination is crucial to prevent Hepatitis B transmission, with emphasis on ensuring all newborns receive the vaccine and offering it to adults born before its inclusion in the national program.
  • Disease Impact: Viral hepatitis causes acute and chronic liver diseases, including cirrhosis and liver cancer. Early diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent severe health consequences.
  • Global Comparison: Viral hepatitis kills as many people annually as tuberculosis, highlighting the urgency of addressing this public health issue.
  • Low Diagnosis and Treatment Coverage: In India, diagnostic and treatment coverage for hepatitis remains low, despite the availability of generic drugs and diagnostics at affordable prices.