Sunday January 20, 2019

WHO Calls for stepped up action to Eliminate Hepatitis B and C by 2030

The World Health Organisation is calling for the elimination of the public health threat by reducing new infections by 90 percent and death by 65 percent by 2030

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WHO Hepatitis campaign
World Health Organization poster for Hepatitis Campaign. VOA
  • The World Health Organization is calling for stepped up action to eliminate Hepatitis B and C by 2030
  • WHO reports viral Hepatitis B and C affected 325 million people and caused 1.34 million deaths in 2015
  • Officials say it can be done if countries show the political will and invest in available tools to rid the world of the ailment

Geneva, July 29, 2017: On the eve of World Hepatitis Day, the World Health Organization is calling for W. It says the goal can be reached by scaling up diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the diseases, which can cause death from cirrhosis and liver cancer.

WHO reports viral Hepatitis B and C affected 325 million people and caused 1.34 million deaths in 2015, and is calling for the elimination of the public health threat by reducing new infections by 90 percent and death by 65 percent by 2030.

Officials say it can be done if countries show the political will and invest in available tools to rid the world of the ailment. They say the epidemic of Hepatitis B, which mainly affects the African and Western Pacific regions, can be prevented by vaccinating infants against the disease.

Also read40 Million Death Per Year Due to Non Communicable Disease : WHO

In regard to Hepatitis C, the director of the WHO Department of HIV Global Hepatitis Program, Gottfried Hirnschall, says there has been a sea change in the treatment of this disease. He tells VOA until four years ago no good treatment existed for Hepatitis C, which kills nearly 400,000 people annually.

“Then we saw the revolution. New drugs came on the market that are really fantastic drugs,” Hirnschall noted. “They have very limited side effects. You only have to take them for three months and 95 percent of people are cured. And, even those who are not cured in the first round, we now have even alternatives that we can provide to those.”

Hirnschall notes the revolutionary kickoff of the new drugs was hampered by the huge $84,000 cost for the three-month course of treatment. But he says the cost in developing countries now has dropped to between $260 and $280.

A survey of 28 countries, representing about 70 percent of the global hepatitis burden, finds efforts to eliminate hepatitis are gathering speed. It says nearly all the countries have set up high-level elimination committees and more than half are allocating money to move the process forward. (VOA)

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President Ram Nath Kovind Urges To Achieve The Perfect Balance For Public Health

In the context of public health in India, the President said that the goal of 'Health For All' must be made integral to our programmes and policies

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Public health
He said the two countries can collaborate to find solutions to global pandemics. Flickr

President R.N. Kovind on Friday urged the need to achieve a perfect triangle of “quality, cost and access,” saying it was critical to get all three in place to work together in public health.

He said there is no point in having quality medicines and state-of-the-art technology if these are not affordable and accessible to those who need them most, and lowering prices is important without compromising quality.

This perfect triangle of quality, cost and access can be achieved by building alliances, between doctors and patients groups, civil society and industry, researchers and practitioners, and ultimately between countries.

India, Names, public health
Many women in Alipur village in Haryana state keep their head covered, as tradition demands. VOA

He said India and the US share complementaries in the pharmaceutical sector like clinical research, drug discovery and manufacture and this country’s experience in producing affordable, but high-quality drugs offer a huge advantage as the world and America itself, seeks to drive down the cost of healthcare and health insurance.

“Disease does not discriminate, and the practice of medicine and healthcare must not discriminate either,” the President pointed out.

He was addressing the 12th Global Healthcare Summit organized by the American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI) in Mumbai.

Public health
Children play as a woman crosses a railway fence at a slum area in New Delhi, India, July 11, 2018. (VOA)

He said the two countries can collaborate to find solutions to global pandemics and emerging zoonotic diseases which are global challenges not restricted to national boundaries.

Also Read: Amazon, Flipkart Likely To Get Hit After India Tightens Its E-Commerce Rules

“The challenge of life-style diseases such as diabetes and obesity being a serious public health issue both in India and the US, and their prevention and management offers scope for cooperation, including by bringing traditional Indian wellness practices to modern medical systems,” President Kovind said.

In the context of public health in India, the President said that the goal of ‘Health For All’ must be made integral to our programmes and policies and referred to several government initiatives designed to make healthcare in the country more holistic and affordable to all Indians, and appealed to the doctors to see how they could contribute. (IANS)