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Monday, October 23, 2017

Health experts focus on NE’s need for better hepatitis care

Tuesday, 12 September 2017 11:59
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Kolkata, September 11: The northeast is emerging as a hotbed for hepatitis B and C. Compounding the grim scenario is lack of awareness, financial and manpower constraints, poor accessibility to hepatitis care and high treatment cost.

A policy round table by Tata Trusts, in association with Indian Institute of Liver & Digestive Sciences and Liver Foundation West Bengal (LFWB), in Kolkata on Sunday saw stakeholders from the region agreeing on the need to pay immediate attention to this public health issue.

"Kolkata, being the gateway to the northeast, aims to play a catalyst's role so that the contextual need for the northeast is kept in mind while framing the national policy on hepatitis B and C. The region's needs are different from those of other states," LFWB secretary Abhijit Chowdhury said.

While Manipur and Mizoram lead the hepatitis C count, the challenge is compounded by intravenous drug abuse and HIV infection. Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland have a high prevalence of hepatitis B.

"We are looking ahead to good partnerships with local NGOs, the government and healthcare professionals in the region for prevention, hepatitis care and viral hepatitis elimination," said H S Sreenivas, who leads the healthcare initiative of Tata Trusts.

"We will form a network in the northeast for better coordination and effort in eliminating hepatitis B and C in the region," LFWB project director Partha Sarathi Mukherjee said. (TNN)

 


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