Indian National Association for the Study of the Liver (INASL) hoped to have guidelines prepared for managing Hepatitis B specific to India by 2015.

After the meeting of taskforce constituted by INASL to prepare India specific guidelines here on Saturday, Y. K. Chawla, chairman of the taskforce said, “there are guidelines for treating Hepatitis B all over the world. In India we had such guidelines prepared in 2000. There are many issues which are peculiar to our country and that information is not described in those guidelines.”

“There are European guidelines, American guidelines and Asia pacific guidelines. We need to have our own guidelines for managing Hepatitis B,” said Dr. Chawla, professor and head of Department of Hepatology, Post Graduate Institute for Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh.

“There are eight different genotypes identified in case of Hepatitis B. The responses available to address these genotypes needed to be analysed. Genotypes of A and D are more prevalent in India,” he said.

The taskforce chairman said, “there are many specific areas in the country where Hepatitis B is more prevalent, especially in tribal pockets of Andaman Nicobar and Orissa. We need to study the reasons behind such prevalence.”

Vaccination

“Vaccination, which can totally prevent liver cancer, is a programme that has not been implemented in our country. We need to force upon agencies to implement vaccination programmes,” the renowned hepatologist said.

Dr. Chawla said prevalence of Hepatitis-B ranges between one per cent and two per cent while 70 per cent of Hepatitis B affected remained career while rest 30 per cent progress to the infectious disease and can transmit the virus to other people. “This segment of infected patients needed to be identified and treated.”

INASL wants that attempts should be made to make India Hepatitis-B free country by 2080.

“By that time present-infected persons would have died and mass vaccination programme would have prevented the disease from affecting new generation,” he said.

The guidelines to prepared by INASL will be different for nurses and paramedics, general physician and specialist.