|LETTER TO EDITOR
|Year : 2020 | Volume
| Issue : 4 | Page : 120-121
Envisaging political commitment and financial investment to accomplish elimination of all forms of viral hepatitis by 2030
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava1, Prateek Saurabh Shrivastava2
1 Member of the Medical Education Unit and Institute Research Council, Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth – Deemed to be University, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District, Tamil Nadu, India
|Date of Submission||14-Mar-2020|
|Date of Decision||02-Dec-2020|
|Date of Acceptance||09-Dec-2020|
|Date of Web Publication||31-Dec-2020|
Dr. Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth (SBV) – Deemed to be University, Tiruporur - Guduvancherry Main Road, Ammapettai, Nellikuppam, Chengalpet District - 603 108, Tamil Nadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
|How to cite this article:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Envisaging political commitment and financial investment to accomplish elimination of all forms of viral hepatitis by 2030. Environ Dis 2020;5:120-1
|How to cite this URL:|
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Envisaging political commitment and financial investment to accomplish elimination of all forms of viral hepatitis by 2030. Environ Dis [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Mar 28];5:120-1. Available from: http://www.environmentmed.org/text.asp?2020/5/4/120/305707
On a cumulative note, all forms of viral hepatitis (hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E) have been together acknowledged as global public health concern, owing to its extensive magnitude and associate complications, deaths, and impairment of quality of life., The available estimates suggest that in excess of 320 million people are living with hepatitis B and C alone, of which significant shortage has been reported with regard to either being aware about their own infection status or receiving desired treatment. Further, 2.85 million people are newly infected in 2017 with one or other forms of viral hepatitis, depicting that the incidence of the disease is still on the rise on a global level. However, the alarming fact is that the combined spectrum of viral hepatitis, in general, remains the second most common infectious cause of death.,,
Despite the known fact that most of the infections are preventable and curable with treatment (hepatitis B and C), it is shocking that four-fifth of the affected people worldwide are deprived of prevention, testing, and therapeutic modalities., Apart from the various factors linked to the weak public healthcare delivery system, a crucial factor has been the lack of investment from the stakeholders in the area of prevention and control., In fact, it has been estimated that by ensuring an investment of 6 US$ billion each year, we can succeed in not only eliminating the disease in more than 65 developing nations by the specified year but also preventing more than 4.5 million deaths annually.
We all have to acknowledge that almost all forms of viral hepatitis infections are preventable, and thus, this domain needs to be strengthened. The acquisition of infection can be prevented by getting immunized for hepatitis A and B, correct and consistent use of condoms during sex (hepatitis B), avoid needle sharing for drugs (hepatitis B and C), and practicing better personal hygiene (such as hand washing with soap and water, drinking bottled water while traveling, and taking precautions while visiting areas with improper sanitation to prevent hepatitis A and E). In addition, it is wise not to use the personal items of an infected person and be extra cautious while getting any tattoos or body piercings (hepatitis B and C).
However, for this, to materialize, the need of the hour is to improve the political and financial commitment from the various stakeholders. There is an immense need to strengthen screening services for hepatitis B and C, and simultaneously focus towards increasing the awareness level among the general population about the preventive strategies, high risk behaviors, and available diagnostic and therapeutic modalities.,, We have to take intensive measures to ensure that the available diagnostic tools and medications are easily accessible to all. One favorable thing has been the decrease in the cost of existing diagnostic and treatment services, and thus, it is the right time for the nations to ensure the utilization of these services.,,, Further, to ensure sustainable benefits, all measures should be taken to integrate the services for the disease with the primary healthcare and together aim for the target of accomplishment of universal health coverage.,,,,
It is vital to understand and acknowledge that by means of appropriate investment in the screening programs, diagnostic test, and medications, indirectly, nations are saving the expenses linked with the management of the complications of the disease (viz., cirrhosis, liver cancer, or liver transplantation).,, One of the encouraging signs is that nations such as India and Pakistan have started free or subsidized testing/treatment services for hepatitis B and C infections, and it will surely bridge the existing gap of availing the available health services.,,, Moreover, in excess of 120 nations, till now, have either formulated or are on track to design comprehensive nationwide plans and strategies to deal with the problem. Even though things have started to move in the right direction, still a lot needs to be done and the political leaders have to play a crucial role in the elimination of disease.,
In conclusion, to accomplish the set targets of elimination of hepatitis by 2030, there is an indispensable need for financial investment through costing, budgeting, and financing the prevention and control services, especially in the low- and middle-income nations.
Financial support and sponsorship
Conflicts of interest
There are no conflicts of interest.
| References|| |
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Necessity to strengthen prevention activities and expand treatment services to accomplish global elimination of Hepatitis C. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1101-2. [Full text]
Tordrup D, Hutin Y, Stenberg K, Lauer JA, Hutton DW, Toy M, et al.
Additional resource needs for viral hepatitis elimination through universal health coverage: Projections in 67 low-income and middle-income countries, 2016-30. Lancet Glob Health 2019;7:e1180-8.
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS. Strengthening the public health response to combat the global problem of viral hepatitis. Cukurova Med J 2018;43:324-5.
Lim SG, Lee GH. Pathway to hepatitis elimination and control. Ann Acad Med Singap 2018;47:435-7.