2.5 lakh get infected with hepatitis a year | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, May 20, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, May 20, 2008

2.5 lakh get infected with hepatitis a year

Experts tell World Hepatitis Day meeting

Brig Gen (retd) Abdul Malek speaks at a discussion at the Zia auditorium at National Museum in the city yesterday. On his left are Prof Mohammad Ali, Prof Hosne Ara Tahmina, Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and Prof Zamilur Reza Chowdhury.Photo: STAR

Around 2.5 lakh people get infected with hepatitis viruses a year in the country, experts at a discussion said yesterday.
Hepatitis, a serious disease which affects the liver, is 100 times more infectious than HIV, they said.
Liver Foundation of Bangladesh organised the discussion at the National Museum auditorium in the city to mark the World Hepatitis Day.
Sixty-four countries of the world are observing the day with a campaign titled 'Am I number 12?' to raise awareness about the disease. This is to highlight the fact that one in every 12 people suffers from hepatitis B or C worldwide. Globally, the number of hepatitis B patients is 35 crore while 15 crore people are suffering from hepatitis C.
No survey was conducted so far to find out the exact number of hepatitis patients in the country. Of the registered patients of the Liver Foundation, 95 percent is infected with hepatitis, said its Director General Prof Mohammad Ali.
The virus is transmitted through the use of contaminated blood and needles and physical proximity with the infected persons, the experts said, adding that patients with chronic hepatitis can ultimately develop liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.
Prof Mohammad Ali suggested that the government should include hepatitis vaccination programme for newborn babies in the EPI (Extended programme on immunisation) to combat the disease.
Speaking as the chief guest, founder general secretary of National Heart Foundation Brig Gen (retd) Abdul Malek urged the Liver foundation to launch awareness programme through public-private partnership programme.
Later, he inaugurated a free hepatitis vaccination programme for the children.
Director general of Health Department Prof Md Abul Fayez, President of Bangladesh Diabetic Society Prof AK Azad Khan, BRAC University Vice Chancellor Prof Zamilur Reza Chowdhury, Director General of Social Welfare Department Dr Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury and Chairman of the Liver Foundation Prof SN Samad Chowdhury and Vice Chairman AQM Mohsin also spoke.

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