Agartala: India is very vulnerable to Hepatitis as it is yet to initiate a mass vaccination programme to check the disease, experts say, pointing out that half the world`s children who have not been vaccinated are in the country."Over 50 percent of the world`s 44 million children who have not got the hepatitis vaccine are in India, making them most vulnerable to the disease," S.P. Singh, secretary of the Indian National Association for the Study of Liver (INASL), told IANS."Many nations across the world, including Bangladesh and Pakistan, but excluding India, have undertaken a mass hepatitis vaccination programme," Singh said.Singh and many other liver disease and hepatitis experts from India and abroad were here to attend a two-day national seminar that began Monday.According to experts, of the six Hepatitis strains (A, B, C, D, E and G), Hepatitis B and C are the most dangerous as these are transmitted through blood.
Experts urged Indian and other state governments to introduce the Tripura model across the country.Also present at the meet was Abhijit Choudhury, head of the department of gastroenterology and liver diseases in the Institute of Post-Graduate Medical Education and Research and Seth Sukhlal Karnani Memorial Hospital in Kolkata."Hepatitis B and C are dangerous diseases like AIDS and cancer. Though the vaccines for Hepatitis are easily available, the Indian government is yet to take the mass vaccination programme in India.""After hepatitis turned into an epidemic in Taiwan, the authorities in 1984 launched the `at birth Hepatitis B vaccination` and achieved over 99 percent success," he added.Bhaumik said: "In India, among liver disease patients, 30 percent of them are alcoholic liver disease sufferers."Choudhury and Bhaumik said a large number of people also suffer from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.According to Chennai`s Apollo Hospital consultant gastroenterologist A.T. Mohan, due to population migration and associated microbial migration, various diseases like Hepatitis B and C were being transmitted among newer people, specially tribals.IANS
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