Services for hepatitis patients continue to be intensified in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic
REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA — The Indonesian Ministry of Health is intensifying efforts to prevent early transmission of hepatitis or inflammation of the liver, which is currently estimated to have around 18 million cases. “As many as 2.5 million people are hepatitis C sufferers,” said the Director of Infectious Disease Prevention and Control of the Indonesian Ministry of Health, Siti Nadia Tarmizi when attending virtually the Peak of the Commemoration of the 12th World Hepatitis Day 2021 which was monitored from Jakarta, Wednesday. (28/7).
He said service efforts for patients continued to be intensified in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic which had an impact on essential health service efforts. Including efforts to control and prevent hepatitis.
According to the report on program achievements in 2020, he said, 470 regencies/cities have attempted to detect hepatitis B early in more than 2.6 million pregnant women. As a result, 1.68 percent or 45 thousand pregnant women are known to be infected with Hepatitis B. Nadia said that out of a total of 32,387 babies born to Hepatitis B mothers, all of them had received treatment for Hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBig) less than 24 hours after birth.
“Until the end of June 2021, it was reported that 905,000 pregnant women were tested for Hepatitis B and 15,403 were positive or 1.7 percent,” he said.
There were 9,087 babies born to mothers with Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) reactive status. A total of 8,493 infants among them had acquired HB 0 and HBig less than 24 hours after birth.
In addition to the efforts made to control Hepatitis B, the Ministry of Health also provides services for the management of Hepatitis C using drugs direct-acting antiviral (DAA) with lower side effects and higher cure rates since 2017. “So this can certainly prevent liver cancer or cirrhosis,” he said.
According to Nadia, Hepatitis C treatment is a preventive measure to break the chain of Hepatitis C transmission. Given that a vaccine for the disease is not yet available.
“Gradually, the program continues to expand blood tests to detect the presence of antibodies to the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). Examination of HCV RNA viral load using rapid molecular tests for early detection and expanding access to DAA treatment services,” he said.
Until 2021, DAA treatment services are available in 40 hospitals spread across 18 provinces and will gradually expand its services so that it is evenly distributed in 34 provinces in Indonesia. The number of people detected by the rapid anti-HCV test was 565,718 people and 23,746 of them tested positive.
A total of 15,354 of them have continued their HCV RNA viral load examination and have detected the Hepatitis C virus as many as 7,918 people, of which 6,659 have received DAA drugs. “Of those who received complete treatment, 4,419 people, 96 percent of them and have achieved healing,” said Nadia.