A vaccine, a few lifestyle changes can prevent liver diseases

Sunday, May 15, 2016

The early use of the potent vaccine for Hepatitis B and timely changes towards a healthy lifestyle are the two best and affordable weapons to prevent a significant number of cases of chronic liver diseases in India, say experts. Though the vaccine for hepatitis B is quite cheap it is yet to become part of the universal immunization programme. At present, hepatitis B is identified to be the commonest cause for chronic liver disease in the country. Interestingly, the vaccine is manufactured by nearly half a dozen domestic vaccine makers as well as several multinational pharma companies. According to Dharmesh Kapoor, Hepatologist, Global Hospitals in Hyderabad, fatty liver disease is now emerging as a key reason for chronic liver disease across the world. It is preventable and in initial stages requires only lifestyle modification. In addition, the second liver disease that can be easily prevented is alcohol related liver injury. Even this is a common problem in the country. In efforts to tackle liver diseases a new Institute called the Global Institute of Liver and Pancreatic Diseases has been started by the Global Hospitals Group. To be part of the Global Aware hospital, it will addressing the rising liver complexities with the Institute’s capability to provide quaternary care,” K Ravindranath, Chairman and Managing Director of the Global Hospital Group told newspersons here. India is home to 11 per cent of the world’s patients affected with chronic Hepatitis B and the number of deaths from liver cancer or cirrhosis each year range between 100,000 and 200,000. It is estimated that about two lakh people are diagnosed with end stage liver disease each year and about 0.02 per cent population (25,000) need liver transplants every year.