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Today Date : Thursday, May 23, 2024

Experts discuss recent advances in treatment of Hepatitis C

Experts discuss recent advances in treatment of Hepatitis C

To mark this year's World Hepatitis Day, NephroPlus, India's dialysis network, hosted a webinar in collaboration with leading Nephrologists, Researchers, Hepatologists, and Clinicians. 

Addressing the participants, Dr. Vivekananda Jha, Executive Director, George Institute for Global Health India, and a Professor of Nephrology at the University of Oxford,Hepatitis can be treated by proper medication. For hepatitis B, we have vaccines available. All chronic kidney patients should be vaccinated against HBV,"

Eminent Nephrologist Dr. Sanjay Agarwal, Professor and Head of Nephrology at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), commented, "The HCV infection can be diagnosed by detecting anti-HCV antibodies in the patient.

 It is to be noted that the longer the duration of Dialysis for a patient, the higher the risk of HCV infection. The Majority of HCV patients are asymptomatic, and transmission is less where isolation is practiced.

 In India, HCV prevalence in hemodialysis ranges from 4.3 to 45%, while the global average is 6 to 60%, making it an alarming health crisis in the renal space. 

Furthermore, the situation needs to be addressed because hemodialysis patients with HCV have a higher mortality risk than HCV-negative patients."

According to the experts, treatment HCV is now highly safe and effective, made possible with orally administered drugs called DAA (Direct Acting Anti-Viral Drugs) with a 90-95% cure rate after 3-6 mths of treatment, available at a fairly low price in India. 

Dr. Suresh Sankar, Senior Vice President, Clinical Affairs at NephroPlus, commented, "At NephroPluswerecognize Hepatitis C infection as a significant health impact factor and have a diligent screening, prevention, and surveillance policy for BBV infection to improve patient safety by special infection control measures.

 In addition, we have stratified centres by prevalence % (centres> 10% of patients are recognized as high-risk centres per KDIGO 2018)—initiatives in such centre to mitigate risks of Hep C transmission. 

We are committed to the cause of preventing Hep C in Dialysis patients. We are happy to support other dialysis centres to set up a Hep C surveillance, prevention, and treatment program."