Safe Point applauds govt for launching ‘national viral hepatitis control program’

In India, around 40 million people are infected with hepatitis B and at least 6 million people with hepatitis C. About 184 000 people die each year of hepatitis B- and C-related complications – two times the estimated annual number of HIV and malaria deaths together

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New Delhi: Mr Pradeep Sarin, Trustee of Safe Point, has applauded the initiative “National Viral Hepatitis Control Program” launched by Mr J P Nadda, Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare on 28th July, 2018 to mark the World Hepatitis Day 2018 to work towards elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030 in India.

The program marks the beginning of the nation’s journey to control viral hepatitis thereby reducing mortality and morbidity attributed to it.  It is expected to prevent , find, test and treat viral hepatitis.

An elated Mr Rajiv Nath, Joint Managing Director of HMD that makes the Kojak brand of Auto Disable Reuse Prevention ( AD- RUP) Syringes, said “After requesting for a National Nodal Injection Safety Officer since over 10 years we are delighted and optimistic to see a National Consultant for Injection Safety being appointed for the noble initiative.” At the same time, Mr Nath also apprehended “Let’s hope this National Plan on Safe Injections is not fueled by Chinese Imported Syringes as being done for Immunization and keeping Indian factories capacity idle.”

Dr (Col) HS Ratti, an epidemiologist and Project Advisor to Safe Point which is working to create awareness about safe injections is hopeful that the ‘National Plan on Safe Injections’ initiative launched is India’s commitment towards elimination of viral hepatitis by well laid out strategy which hopefully will now be covering Prevention from Unsafe Injections, Testing patients with Safe Equipment that prevents Needle Stick injury to the lab technician and free Treatment to the patient .

In India, around 40 million people are infected with hepatitis B and at least 6 million people with hepatitis C. About 184 000 people die each year of hepatitis B- and C-related complications – two times the estimated annual number of HIV and malaria deaths together.

Dr Ratti urged the Govt. to accelerate a switch to “Auto Disable Syringes” to limit HIV and Hepatitis Epidemic. There are villages with over half the population infected with Hepatitis or HIV due to reuse of Syringes by quacks . In order to prevent reuse of syringes and contain spread of infection, it is advisable and recommended to use AD syringes specifically designed to prevent reuse. This reuse prevention has been strongly advocated by WHO.

Andhra Pradesh government has already taken a lead in this regard and had issued instructions in May for 100% use of AD syringes in its public health facilities from 28th Jul 2018 which is observed as World Hepatitis Day.

Health ministry has launched the ‘National Viral Hepatitis Control Program’, with the goal of ending viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030 in the country. The aim of the initiative is to reduce morbidity and mortality due to viral hepatitis.