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India’s first Hepatitis B immunisation in Tripura
Published on 13 Nov. 2009 11:05 PM IST
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The Tripura government in collaboration with the Hepatitis Foundation of Tripura (HFT), a private body working in the health sector is all set to launch Hepatitis B eradication programme in the state like pulse polio immunisation on November 29. State Health Minister Tapan Chakraborty said here today that the programme would be launched at a time from the state hospitals to the Primary Health Centres (PHC) covering all the revenue villages at a subsidised rate ranging Rs 20-40. According to a UNI report, the second and third dose would be provided on January 3 and May 30 next respectively for all age groups in the health centres besides, HFT clinics in 29 locations of the state, Chakraborty said. The Hepatitis-B vaccine would also be available on every Sunday in HFT clinics, he added. He pointed out that the immunisation programme would cover at least one lakh people in initial phase and subsequently it would immunise each and every individual of the state. So far, about three lakh people were vaccinated in HFT clinics, the Health Minister stated. HFT General Secretary Dibakar Debnath said with the increasing incidents of liver related complications in the state, the HFT had already started a systematic research project on molecular epidemiological pattern of the Hepatitis B virus with the Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR). The initial study based on secondary data and hospital sampling revealed that about 1.5 lakh people of Tripura were afficted with hepatitis B while about ten per cent tribal people of the state had been harbouring the disease. ‘’We develop a Hepatitis B & C Registry of Tripura, an unique model in the country,’’ Debnath said. As part of preventive measure the HFT had been pleading for mandatory Hepatitis test during pregnancy and Hepatitis B immunoglobulin to the child after birth, he added. He attributed that Hepatitis B had emerged as 100 times dangerous than HIV/AIDS in the country and since people were not aware about the disease, the complication finally led to liver psoriasis and cancer, which had been increasing alarmingly in Northeastern states especially among the Mongolian tribes.

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