KABUL (SW) - The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) on Tuesday launched drive to treat up to 20,000 hepatitis C patients in three years’ time.
Ferozuddin Feroz, minister of MoPH, said on the occasion the drive against hepatitis C would continue for the three years to come, however, efforts to eradicate Jaundice would continue till 2030.
The minister said, in a bid to counter the spread of these diseases, drug addicts would be treated in the first phase followed by HIV positive patients, and prisoners – who are 5 per cent of the patients.
The most common cause of hepatitis worldwide is viruses. Other causes include heavy alcohol use, certain medications, toxins, other infections, autoimmune diseases. There are five main types of viral hepatitis: type A, B, C, D, and E. Hepatitis A and E are mainly spread by contaminated food and water.
Hepatitis B is mainly sexually transmitted, but may also be passed from mother to baby during pregnancy or childbirth. Both hepatitis B and hepatitis C are commonly spread through infected blood such as may occur during needle sharing by intravenous drug users. Hepatitis D can only infect people already infected with hepatitis B.
Studies in Afghanistan suggest 4.7 per cent men and 5.6 per cent female are infected with hepatitis B while 2.4 per cent men and 2.1 per cent female are infected with hepatitis C.
The MoPH is providing treatment for hepatitis free of cost.