NewZNew (Gurgaon) : Highly density of population owing to migration, lack of sanitation and cleanliness, shortage of general awareness about personal hygiene are factors that make cities like Gurgaon highly vulnerable to infections such as hepatitis. Through a series of initiatives including health screening camps, talk sessions, and vaccination drives, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon reached out to as many as 10,000 people on World Hepatitis Day to educate them about prevention from hepatitis.
One of the most widely prevalent infections of the liver, viral hepatitis a major public health concern in India and claims close to 1.5 million lives every year, according to World Health Organization. While in the US Hepatitis A is the leading chronic virus infection leading to death, in India Hepatitis B leads the pack with nearly 600,000 patients dying of it every year.
In the wake of surging cases of viral hepatitis in Gurgaon City, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon organized free free-screening camps for Hepatitis in different parts of the city over the weekend. In its effort to reach out to more number of people, the hospital started its free screening camps from 26 July, two days before the World Hepatitis Day covering urban as well as rural areas of the city.
The hospital also held special screening cum awareness camps in corporate houses of the city to cover a large number of people, many of whom travel to the city from Delhi, Noida as well as Ghaziabad.
The camps organized were successful in recoding almost 10,000 health screenings. Further, in order to encourage people to remain proactive and adopt vaccination against the disease, the hospital also offered conducted a vaccination drive, offering vaccinations at hugely discounted rates so that more and more people can access them. The vaccinations were offered at all health camps.
“High rates of hepatitis infections suggest low levels of awareness regarding spread, cause and prevention. Therefore, our screening camps aimed at educating people about the harmful effects of contaminated food and water and availability of vaccinations to prevent the disease from occurring. While the screenings helped suspecting people check their condition, vaccinations were also offered at much discounted cost to encourage more people to adopt it,” said Dr. Rajnish Monga, Consultant, Gastroenterologist, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon.
Hepatitis (HEP-ah-TY-tis) or inflammation of liver is of five kinds- A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A and E virus is transmitted through contaminated water and food, while Hepatitis B and C are communicated through blood and body secretions. While hepatitis A is the most common form of hepatitis, hepatitis B and C are the deadliest. Prevalence of Hepatitis B is 3-5% while hepatitis C is 1 % in general population in India. It is important to stress that hepatitis infections can be prevented.
“The initial symptoms of the infection resemble that of common flu. However, a developed case will have symptoms like light colored stool, dark yellow colored urine, yellowing of eyes and skin along with persistent feeling of vomiting, drowsiness and fatigue. In many cases, the patient may also exhibit abnormal behavior or observe bleeding from gum or any site,” said Dr. Rajnish Monga, Consultant, Gastroenterologist, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon.
Preventing Hepatitis A & E involves maintaining high level of personal hygiene, always washing hands after using toilet and before handling or eating food, drinking safe portable or boiled drinking water, and never consuming unwashed raw, peeled fruits and vegetables. “Safe drinking water and hand hygiene is the only way of prevention of hepatitis E which is the most common cause of jaundice in India. Prevention of hepatitis B & C involves practices to prevent contact with infected blood or semen. Using condoms, strictly avoiding sharing of needles or razors, and making sure tattooing or body piercing is done using clean tools. Also important is to wear gloves if you have to touch other peoples’ stool or body secretions. Vaccination is also available for Hepatitis B,” added Dr. Anukalp Prakash, Consultant, Gastroenterologist, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon.
Besides organizing camps across the city, the hospital also help a camp in its premises on the World Hepatitis Day. The coffee with hepatitis specialist remained the major attraction for the people who came for screening in the hospital.