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LETTER TO EDITOR
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 3  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 64-65

Strategic implementation of the global strategy for the containment of the infective viral hepatitis


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Web Publication12-Jul-2017

Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
3rd Floor, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/jcrsm.jcrsm_7_17

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How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strategic implementation of the global strategy for the containment of the infective viral hepatitis. J Curr Res Sci Med 2017;3:64-5

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Strategic implementation of the global strategy for the containment of the infective viral hepatitis. J Curr Res Sci Med [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Jul 22];3:64-5. Available from: http://www.jcrsmed.org/text.asp?2017/3/1/64/210347

Dear Sir,

Despite being recognized as a global public health concern, viral hepatitis has not been given due attention by the international stakeholders and policy makers.[1],[2],[3] In fact, millions of people have been diagnosed with hepatitis A, B, C, and E infections, either in acute or chronic forms and it has even been associated with long-term complications and millions of deaths.[1],[2],[3] However, in the recently adopted sustainable development goals, under the goal 3, specific attention has been given toward the need to have specific interventions to fight viral hepatitis.[4]

Considering the fact that the health sector is very well equipped with appropriate tools, adequate opportunities exist to increase and expand the response of the stakeholders by giving due attention to key areas.[1],[2] This calls for focusing more on areas such as introduction of effective vaccines in the national immunization schedule, implementation of measures to prevent transmission of hepatitis-B virus from mother to child, strict adherence to universal safety precautions during all invasive procedures to prevent transmission of hepatitis B and C in health-care facilities, ensure access to sterile injections and employment of effective drug dependence measures to reduce harm for intravenous drug abusers, and promoting access to new drugs that have a cure rate of more than 90% for people with chronic hepatitis-C infection.[1],[2],[3],[4]

Nevertheless, a wide range of barriers have been identified, which act as a major hurdle in the global mission to achieve the tangible goals.[2],[4] As a matter of fact, the political commitment across different nations is not uniform, and in many nations, the disease is not even considered a public health priority.[4] In addition, there is a lack of availability of the precise information about the exact magnitude of the disease, as the disease often goes undetected or never reported due to the defects in the surveillance mechanisms.[1],[2] Furthermore, the reach of prevention strategies is quite limited, and most of the people are not aware of their hepatitis status, owing to which they are diagnosed late and by then the success of treatment becomes questionable.[1],[3] Moreover, even for the diagnosed individuals, very few have easy access to treatment or care services, and even if it is available, the diagnostic or therapeutic options are often unaffordable for the majority of the infected people, considering that often the nature of treatment is life-long.[1],[2],[4] On top of that, the social factors such as widespread stigma and discrimination also play a crucial role in preventing people from availing health services.[1],[2]

To deal with the problem, the World Health Organization has developed a global strategy for the 2016–2021 time interval and proposed measures for the containment of all five viral hepatitis infections.[4] The formulated strategy looks for attaining a state, in which the transmission of the disease can be interrupted, people have access to safe, affordable and effective treatment, and the proposed goal of eliminating viral hepatitis as one of the major public health threats can be achieved by 2030.[4] This can only happen, if there is a synergistic sort of response to deal with the infection, in combination with other strategies such as formulating an information system to gain deep insights into the disease epidemic and the requisite response, identification of the key interventions, strengthening of the public health systems to deliver high-quality services to achieve equitable coverage, supporting the planned interventions financially for their sustainability, and encouraging and including innovative approaches to aid in the fast progress.[1],[2],[3],[4]

To conclude, as viral hepatitis affects the lives of millions of people and has been associated with a significant number of morbidity and mortality, it is the need of the hour to devise and implement a strategy, which can have maximum impact on the general population.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

 
  References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Hepatitis C – Fact Sheet; 2016. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs164/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Mar 27].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
World Health Organization. Hepatitis B – Fact Sheet; 2016. Available from: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs204/en/. [Last accessed on 2017 Mar 26].  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.
Shrivastava PS, Shrivastava SR, Ramasamy J, Zaidi SH. Hepatitis E: Risk and Prevention. Int J Prev Med 2014;5 Suppl 3:S231-2.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.
World Health Organization. Global Health Sector Strategy on Viral Hepatitis 2016-2021 – Towards Ending Viral Hepatitis. Geneva: WHO Press; 2016. p. 1-27.  Back to cited text no. 4
    




 

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