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Around 150,000 people infected with Hepatitis-B: MoPH

Around 150,000 people infected with Hepatitis-B: MoPH

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Jul 30, 2017 - 19:28

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Ministry of Public Healthinfo-icon on Sunday said around 150,000 people were infected with hepatitis-B in the country and warned the disease would increase if not controlled on time.

Hepatitis-B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic disease.  The virus is transmitted through contact with the blood or other body fluids of an infected person. The virus can be transmitted through blood, sexual intercourse, syringes and shaving blades from an infected person to a healthy person.

The Worldinfo-icon Health Organization (WHO) marked July 28 as the World’s Hepatitis Day with the aim to prevent the disease.

Dr. Fida Mohammad Paikan, deputy public health minister for healthcare services, told a ceremony marking the World Hepatitis Day here that Hepatitis-B was a common but silent problem as its signs could not be identified for years.

He said around 150,000 people were infected with the virus in Afghanistaninfo-icon and 36,000 positive cases were registered with MoPH during the last one year.

“World statistics show around 325 million people are infected with hepatitis, including 257 million with Hepatitis B and 71 million with Hepatitis C as of 2015,” Paikan added.

He said prevention, treatment and diagnosing of the virus remained a global challenge as around 1.4 million people yearly died of the disease.

He said MoPH advisory and awareness services about hepatitis in 11 provinces of the country and vaccination of 10,000 drug addicts was expected to be implemented until the end of current year.

He said currently 70 percent of children were given anti-Hepatitis B vaccines and efforts were underway to expand the vaccination to all children in the country.

A message from WHO representative for Afghanistan, Dr Richard Peeperkorn, was read out by a technical officer of the organization at the ceremony. In his message, Peeperkorn said hepatitis was a deadly virus and people have to be aware of it for its prevention and timely treatment.

He said despite some developments, more efforts were required to prevent increasing deaths from Hepatitis B.

The WHO representative said his organization was committed to supporting MoPH in fighting the viral disease.

mds/ma

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