Expert recommendations to tackle viral hepatitis

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BANGALORE: With viral hepatitis cases reaching alarming proportions in India, an Expert Group of specialists from Bangalore have evolved six major recommendations for government, policy-makers, medical fraternity, pharmaceutical sector and other stakeholders to tackle the disease effectively.

The recommendations include universal immunization against hepatitis B, compulsory implementation of Universal Safety Precautions in clinical practice to prevent spread of infections, mass movement for voluntary blood donation (serves dual purpose of screening for hepatitis and availability of blood for emergencies), implementation of an occupational policy with government mandate for the vulnerable sections (professionals in contact with blood and blood products), public awareness (in local language), counselling (pre and post-test for chronic viral hepatitis) and dissemination of awareness material making use of technology (mobiles, social media) and advocacy for hepatitis through NGOs.

The list of experts included Dr S Pruthvish, Professor and Head of Department, Community Medicine, MS Ramaiah Medical College and Hospital, Dr Ramakrishna Goud, Additional Professor, Department of Community Health, St John’s Medical College, Dr Suresh Babu, Assistant Professor in Medical Oncology, Dr Sangameshwar Mahagaonkar, Global Product Lead – Health and Wellness, Nokia Life, Dr Avinash Balekuduru, Associate Professor, Department of Gastroenterology, MS Ramaiah Hospitals and Dr Anoop Gowda, Assistant Professor and Head of Nephrology, Ambedkar Medical College.

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