Improve access to early detection for hepatitis

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dr. Tiffany Tiara Pakasi, MA, and Dr. dr. Irsan Hasan, Sp.PD, KGEH, FINASIM. (IO/Esti)

Jakarta, IO – 28 July is World Hepatitis Day. This year, the global commemoration theme, “Hepatitis Can’t Wait”, is meant to convey the urgency of freeing humanity from hepatitis by 2030. 

“Hepatitis” is defined as an inflammation of the liver. It is categorized into Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E. During the pandemic, hepatitis is still the second-most-prevalent communicable disease in Asia, Europe, and America. In Indonesia, according to the Baseline Health Research 2018, the prevalence of Hepatitis B and C is at 7.1% and 1% ,respectively. In terms of the number of cases, 17.5 million people suffer from Hepatitis B, and another 2 million from Hepatitis C. Hepatitis B is mostly transferred from pregnant mothers to their babies, while Hepatitis C is mostly transferred by blood. 

Read: The “slow contagiousness” of acute hepatitis

“Indonesia is an endemic country for hepatitis. The number of cases is high, and it constantly exists all year long. The majority of sufferers do not show any special symptoms – they only complain of tiredness, nausea, or gassiness. It is a chronic disease – in advanced stages, it may develop into cirrhosis or cancer of the liver. Both of them are notoriously hard to treat: it takes a lot of money to do so, and you might not be cured after all. The best people can do is stop their condition from deteriorating further,” said Dr. dr. Irsan Hasan, Sp.PD, KGEH, FINASIM, in the “Improve Access to Hepatitis Early Detection and Treatment” live IG session held on Tuesday (26/07/2022).