Compere: Dr Bobby John Globally, nearly 2 billion people have been learnt to have been infected with the hepatitis B virus (1 out of 3 people in the world) and nearly 292 million people are chronically infected. About a million die each year from it due to cirrhosis and/or liver cancer; Nearly 2 people die very minute due to hepatitis B infection. Nearly 65% of these persons are living in Asia, and after China, maximum in India, close to 40 million. Unfortunately, more than 85% of the infected people do not know about their infected state. Hepatitis C is another blood borne infection with nearly 70 million globally infected. India is inhabited by about 8-10 million of these. Infections of liver remain virtually unknown to the general public, at-risk populations, and policymakers; even healthcare providers often lack awareness and basic information about these infections. The key challenges are to detect the infected and treat them. The National Viral Hepatitis Program launched last year on the World Hepatitis Day, is a testimony to the commitment of the GOI to eliminate these infections from India, however major challenges remain in inding the missing millions, convincing them for testing, getting them to avail treatment and preventing the uninfected. Short- and long-term goals, road maps, time lines and monetary support need to be inalized.

Panelists: Dr Vinod Paul, Shri Manoj Jhalani, Dr Henk Bekedam, Shri Sanjeev Khirwar, Dr. Anoop Saraya, Dr. Girish Tyagi, Dr. Shubnum Singh, Dr. Seema Alam

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