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Cover page of the Journal of Health Sciences


 
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SHORT COMMUNICATION
Year : 2021  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 164-165

Need for a holistic approach to contain hepatitis C: World Health Organization


1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission11-Jun-2019
Date of Acceptance15-Feb-2020
Date of Web Publication09-Feb-2021

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/kleuhsj.kleuhsj_155_19

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  Abstract 


Hepatitis C has been acknowledged as one of the global public health concerns owing to its universal distribution, high incidence, impaired quality of life, and associated life threatening complications, including death. The need to have an urgent public health response is further emphasized by the fact they tend to cast a major financial burden on the community. Considering the huge burden of the chronic infections, it is high time that the access to affordable testing and treatment is given due importance. However, as with any other program, the success of the program requires sustained financial support and simultaneous investments have to be done for innovations, including the development of vaccines. Further, efforts have to be taken to increase the awareness about the disease and mobilization of resources. In conclusion, in order to prevent and control the disease and to meet the proposed targets, the need of the hour is to foster linkage with all the stakeholders and scale up the screening, diagnosis, care and treatment services.

Keywords: Hepatitis C, treatment, world health organization


How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Need for a holistic approach to contain hepatitis C: World Health Organization. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res 2021;14:164-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Need for a holistic approach to contain hepatitis C: World Health Organization. Indian J Health Sci Biomed Res [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Apr 16];14:164-5. Available from: https://www.ijournalhs.org/text.asp?2021/14/1/164/308946




  Introduction Top


Hepatitis C has been acknowledged as one of the global public health concerns owing to its universal distribution, high incidence, impaired quality of life, and associated lifethreatening complications, including death.[1],[2] In addition, it has been estimated that on an average 70% of the infections eventually lands in the chronic form of the disease, which can further develop into complications such as cirrhosis or liver malignancy.[1] The currently available estimates suggest that more than 70 million people are suffering from the chronic form, while close to 0.4 million deaths have been attributed to the infection each year, which is an alarming fact.[1],[3]

Need for a holistic approach

The need to have an urgent public health response is further emphasized by the fact they tend to cast a major financial burden on the individual, family, and community for the management of the resulting complications.[2],[3] At the same time, the load on the healthcare delivery system, especially in the low and middleincome nations is also worth considering.[1] Another challenge in the prevention of the infection is that as of now, there is no vaccine available, which in itself is a significant cause of concern.[3] Moreover, despite the availability of the other prevention measures (viz., prevention of injection drug use or safe blood transfusion or compliance with the standard protocol for blood collection), these have not been implemented adequately.[1],[4] In fact, the available figures indicate that even today, 5% of the injection use in the health sector still remains unsafe.[3]

Current reality

Considering the huge burden of chronic infections, it is high time that the access to affordable testing and treatment is given due importance.[2] The current estimates indicate that only 20% of the infected people were diagnosed in the year, of which only 7.8% were initiated on treatment.[3] This is a serious issue as the available medicines can cure almost 90% of the infection, which in turn can minimize the risk of all chronic complications and deaths.[3],[4] The encouraging sign is that some of the nations are on the path to eliminate the entire spectrum of viral hepatitis, owing to their sustained political commitment and rapid strengthening of the diagnostic and treatment services.[2],[3],[4]

Critical elements for a successful outcome

At the same time, the health professionals have to be quite opportunistic and expand the diagnostic and/ or treatment services to the coinfected (hepatitis C and HIV/hepatitis B) individuals.[3] The target to eliminate the disease by 2030 requires a holistic approach and there is a need to establish a strategic information system by strengthening the surveillance activities.[2] In addition, the diagnostic and treatment services need to be expanded and it has to be integrated with the primary healthcare services.[2] However, as with any other program, the success of the program requires sustained financial support and simultaneous investments have to be done for innovations, including the development of vaccines.[2],[3],[4] Further, efforts have to be taken to increase awareness about the disease and mobilization of resources.[1]


  Conclusion Top


In conclusion, to prevent and control the disease and to meet the proposed targets, the need of the hour is to foster linkage with all the stakeholders and scale up the screening, diagnosis, care, and treatment services.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Hepatitis C-Fact Sheet; 2018. Available from: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/hepatitis-c. [Last accessed on 2019 Jan 11]  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Necessity to strengthen prevention activities and expand treatment services to accomplish global elimination of Hepatitis C. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1101-2.  Back to cited text no. 2
  [Full text]  
3.
World Health Organization. Global Hepatitis Report. Geneva: WHO Press; 2017. p. 1-13.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strategic implementation of the global strategy for the containment of the viral hepatitis infections. J Curr Res Sci Med 2017;3:64-5.  Back to cited text no. 4
  [Full text]  




 

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