Generics cut cost of Hep care: Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh
Generic drugs manufactured by Indian companies have significantly reduced the cost of Hepatitis treatment in the country, said the WHO. “This has helped strengthen India’s fight against Hepatitis as the cost of treatment has come down from $85,000 to less than $120 here,” said Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO, South-East Asia Region.
WHO on Friday announced Amitabh Bachchan as its Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis for the South-East Asia Region.
An estimated 3.5 crore people in India are infected with Hepatitis B and close to 60 lakh have Hepatitis C virus. “Only 10 per cent of those infected are aware of their positive status and hence we believe that the number of patients could be much higher,” Dr Singh said.
“I lived with Hepatitis for years without being detected and by the time I was diagnosed, 75 per cent of my liver was already damaged,” said Bachchan. Hepatitis leads to liver inflammation. While A and E type of virus are caused by ingestion of contaminated food or water, B, C and D occur due to contact with infected body fluids.
Dr Henk Bekedam, WHO Representative to India said that some state governments like Punjab were doing extremely well when it comes to screening …read more