New Delhi: The union health ministry plans to assess the impact of the Hepatitis B vaccine immunization on the population post its induction in the Universal Immunisation Programme (UIP) ten years back.
Despite government efforts, Viral hepatitis continues to be a serious public health problem in India. As per the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 52 million people in the country are currently infected with chronic hepatitis.
The government introduced Hepatitis B vaccines in the UIP in 2007-2008. Nearly 119,000 cases of all-cause viral hepatitis were reported in India in 2012. The Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme of the National Centre for Disease Control received notification of over 290,000 cases of acute viral hepatitis in 2013.
Under the health ministry’s plan, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) aims to identify the barriers leading to low Hepatitis B coverage under UIP and study the impact of the immunization done over the years.