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Dimapur, Kohima, Tuensang top HIV, HBV & HCV positivity rate

Nagaland News

KOHIMA, JULY 28: Dimapur, Kohima and Tuensang top the HIV, Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) positivity rate in Nagaland, according to a survey carried out by the National Viral Hepatitis Programme for fiscal 2021-22.
This was informed by the State Nodal Officer for National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme (NVHCP), Dr. M Nukshisangla Jamir, while giving an overview of the NVHCP initiative in Nagaland, on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day observed at Red Cross Building, Kohima, on June 28.
The programme was jointly organised by NVHCP, Nagaland, Kripa Foundation, Nagaland, and Nagaland Users Network.
Jamir also highlighted that out of the 65,730 people screened for HIV all over the State, 1341 tested positive.
Out of 11,038 people were screened for HIV in Kohima, 180 were positive; out 9928 people screened in Tuensang, 203 tested positive, and 710 people were tested positive from the 1052 people screened for HIV.
A total of 18,530 pregnant women were screened for HIV and 124 tested positive in the last financial year. Of the 16,793 general clients screened for Hepatitis B, 181 tested positive.
Also, 4823 pregnant women were tested for Hepatitis B and 32 were positive; 174 tested positive for HCV out of the 16963 general clients screened.
Jamir also informed that the Department has set a target of testing 44,737 individuals for HBV and 1,84,128 for HCV in fiscal 2022-23.
In this regard, the role of partner NGOs will be crucial in achieving the target as they have been carrying out sensitisation and health awareness camps, along with a screening of HBV and HCV in the previous financial year, she said.
Jamir said that while the Health Department is committed to achieving the targets it has set for 2022-23, it cannot ensure 100% coverage because the testing facilities in the State are yet to be expanded and treatment facilities are only available up to the level of District Hospitals.
Yet again, the role of the partner NGOs will be crucial for the success of the programme because they can reach out to more people, create awareness and bring the ignored section of the community closer to the health system, she said.
Jamir maintained that in regard to bringing Hepatitis care closer to the people, it may not happen in one go as it involves a lot of policy-making.
“But if we hold our hands together, support each other and if we understand the needs of the people and the seriousness of the disease then nothing is impossible”, she said.
Highlighting the significance of the day, Meghraj Lama, member of Kripa Foundation, informed that World Hepatitis Day is observed every year on July 28 to raise awareness on viral hepatitis.
He said that the world is currently facing a new outbreak of unexplained acute hepatitis infections affecting children. At present, the World Health Organization, together with scientists and policymakers, is working to understand the cause of this infection as it does not belong to any of the known 5 types of Hepatitis Virus: A, B, C, D and E.
He said that this year’s theme ‘Bringing Hepatitis care closer to you’, aims to raise awareness about the need to simplify and bring hepatitis care to primary health facilities, community-based venues and locations beyond the hospital sites, so that care is closer to communities and people wherever they are.
MD of NHM, Dr. Thorhusie Katiry said that it’s a collective responsibility to change attitudes, and improve the opportunities for prevention, testing, and treatment.
The prevalence of hepatitis on a global scale is staggering. One in 12 people worldwide is affected by hepatitis. Over a million of these people die each year and many experience reduced quality of life as a result of chronic liver diseases, such as cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Stating that viral hepatitis still remains relatively poorly understood despite the statistics, Katiry proposed that hepatitis and its related diseases be combated through education and vaccination, and an increase in the testing for hepatitis.
(Page News Service)

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