prof. Dr. Tabak stated that the 28th of July, which was designated as “World Hepatitis Day” by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Hepatitis Association (DHB), will be handled with various events organized in Turkey as well as the whole world. Tabak said, “Why 28 July? Since 2010, the World Health Organization has designated the date of 28 July as World Hepatitis Day, in honor of the Nobel Prize-winning US Doctor BS Blumberg, who first identified the hepatitis B virus. Informing the public about hepatitis disease in the field, raising awareness, drawing attention to preventive measures and informing about treatment methods, and removing viral hepatitis from the list of diseases that threaten humanity in the future.
“IN OUR COUNTRY, IT IS ESTIMATED THAT WE HAVE APPROXIMATELY 2 MILLION HEPATITIS B AND 300 THOUSAND – 400 THOUSAND HEPATIT C PATIENTS”
“There are approximately 257 million Hepatitis B and 71 million Hepatitis C carriers or patients all over the world,” said Prof. Dr. Tabak said: “These two viruses are also an important health problem in our country. The frequency of HBV in our country is 4 percent and the frequency of HCV is 1 percent, and it is estimated that we have approximately 2 million Hepatitis B and 300 thousand – 400 thousand Hepatitis C patients. It is a very sad fact that 20 percent of them are at an advanced stage, that is, cirrhotic when diagnosed.All over the world, close to 1.3 million people die in a year due to cirrhosis and liver cancer, which develop as a complication of chronic hepatitis caused by hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). . Hepatitis B and C are transmitted through infected blood and blood products, medical and surgical interventions with non-sterile instruments, intravenous drug use, tattooing and piercing practices, mother to child during birth, and rarely, unprotected sexual intercourse with the person carrying the virus.” used.
“CHRONIC HEPATITIS C HAS BEEN A TREATABLE DISEASE”
Stating that chronic hepatitis B can be controlled with treatment today, Prof. Dr. Tabak said, “Chronic hepatitis C has become a treatable disease. The treatment of our hepatitis C patients with new antivirals has been covered by SSI for about 5 years. The success rate of these treatments is almost 100 percent and the disease does not recur. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) ) infection is a vaccine-preventable disease. The Ministry of Health has included the Hepatitis B vaccine in its childhood vaccination program and continues this program with a success rate of over 90. In terms of prevention of chronic hepatitis B, VHSD supports the vaccination studies of the ministry and provides a great opportunity for the future. We see it as an important event. We would like to start a new program for the individual vaccination of people who are not covered by the vaccine. For about 30 years, chronic hepatitis due to Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C has been treated. There are different numbers of treatments in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, and patients It can be treated with 1 tablet per day. is going,” he said.
“DELAYED TREATMENT INCREASES COSTS IN THE LONG TERM”
prof. Dr. Tabak said, “In the treatment of Hepatitis C, which started 30 years ago, almost all of our patients can be treated in a short period of 2-3 months with new treatment methods today. Hepatitis B and C patients in our country have the opportunity to receive treatment at world standards. It is predicted that it will increase in the next few decades. It significantly reduces cirrhosis and cancer-related deaths in treated patients. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused disruptions in new diagnosis and treatment. Delayed treatment increases costs in the long term. It is very important to raise awareness in this curable disease today has become one,” he said.
“SCAN PROGRAMS MUST BE IMPLEMENTED”
prof. Dr. Tabak concluded his words as follows: “To summarize our problems today, when we bring up the problems of us and our patients; Stigma and discrimination still continue for our patients. The rate of diagnosis of our patients is around 20 percent. This means that millions of patients who have chronic hepatitis but do not know the diagnosis, have their disease silently cirrhosis. and liver cancer, they continue to live among us by transmitting their diseases through blood and sexual ways. For those who go silent and live without knowing their disease, screening programs should be put into practice, starting with risky groups. Especially Hepatitis C treatments are not given in all our provinces. “He has to go to neighboring provinces to buy drugs. This difficulty can be solved by providing drugs in all our provinces.”