INDIA. Mumbai: Over 1500 pregnant women are suffering from Hepatitis B, and to arrest the growth of the disease, the National Viral Hepatitis Control Program is being implemented rigorously in Maharashtra.
The state health department officials said the tests were carried out on 3.16 lakh pregnant women, of which 1506 were found to be Hepatitis B positive.
Out of the five categories of A, B, C, D, and E, B and C are more dangerous. Hepatitis B is an infection that attacks the liver and can cause both acute and chronic liver cancer.
Hepatitis B is a viral infection that attacks the liver and can cause acute and chronic diseases. It spreads when uninfected individuals come into contact with blood, semen, or other bodily fluids from an infected person. This can happen during sexual contact, when sharing syringes, needles, or other injection tools, as well as when a mother gives birth to her child.
The disease is 100 times more contagious than AIDS and can go undetected for several years. It is responsible for approximately 600,000 deaths worldwide each year.
Under the National Viral Hepatitis Control Program, the newly born are given an immunization dose (zero birth dose). The infants are given Hepatitis B immune globulin (Human) HBIG B injection free of cost to prevent infection from mother to the child.
The Maharashtra Government has begun Hepatitis B screening for all pregnant women in the state. If found positive, then the pregnancy will have to be carried out only in the hospital where the HBIG injections are available, officials said.
The State health department, which makes HBIG injections available to district hospitals, procured 1000 injections last year, and the process of purchasing injections is on this year too. The National Viral Hepatitis Control Program has been implemented in Maharashtra since 2019. There are eight centres in the state to treat hepatitis free of cost.
Pregnancy and Hepatitis B
The infection to a child can lead to the cancer of liver cirrhosis. The HBIG injection should be administered within 72 hours after the birth of the child. These symptoms exist among infected mothers. If the infection aggravates and no proper medicare is provided, the patient can die within ten years.
The viral is loaded within 2 to 3 months of the pregnancy, and antibodies are given. Dr Mahendra Kendre, Assistant Director, Health Services, said the treatment is started immediately if found positive. Dr Kendre added that the state government has mandatory for all private blood banks, laboratories, and hospitals to provide information about Hepatitis B or C patients detected before or after the surgery.
The Union Health Ministry plans to combat hepatitis and achieve country-wide elimination of Hepatitis C by 2030. It plans to significantly reduce the infected population, morbidity, and mortality associated with Hepatitis B and C, viz. Cirrhosis and Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) reduce the risk, morbidity, and mortality due to Hepatitis A and E.