Government to roll out initiative for prevention & control of viral hepatitis

The Union Health Ministry has decided to roll out an initiative for prevention and control of viral hepatitis.

The information was shared by Union Health Minister J P Nadda through a tweet on April 20, 2018. Nadda stated that the National Health Mission (NHM) has decided to roll out 'Integrated initiative for prevention & control of viral hepatitis' with a budget of more than 517 crore rupees for a period of three years.

What is Viral hepatitis?

It is liver inflammation due to a viral infection. It may present in acute or chronic forms.

The most common causes of viral hepatitis are the five unrelated hepatotropic viruses hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D and hepatitis E.

Most of the common hepatitis types are preventable and treatable. While Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccination, effective treatments are available for hepatitis C.

Key Highlights

• Under the initiative, the Health Ministry has decided to establish a state coordination unit under the state NHM for efficient rollout of the programme in 26 large and four small states.

• The Ministry is also planning to set up 50 state laboratories for assisting in diagnosis and training of the district hospitals for screening of hepatitis.

• It intends to scale up to 100 treatment and 665 testing centres over a period of next three years.


• The initiative would address aspects including surveillance, awareness generation, immunisation, safe blood, injection safety infection control, capacity building, research and monitoring and diagnosis of viral hepatitis.

• The ministry has also proposed to establish 15 model treatment centres, which will function as referral centres for diagnosis and treatment of hepatitis C and assist in capacity building.


• Viral hepatitis is reported to be a global public health problem.

• In 2013 about 1.5 million people died from viral hepatitis. Most deaths were caused due to hepatitis B and hepatitis C and East Asia was one of the world’s most affected regions.

• India is committed to eliminating the disease by 2030.

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