"(As many as) 2.5 million of them (the 18 million patients) are Hepatitis C sufferers," director of infectious disease prevention and control at the Health Ministry, Siti Nadia Tarmizi, informed at an online event held to mark the 12th World Hepatitis Day 2021, which ANTARA joined from here on Wednesday.
Services for hepatitis patients have continued to be intensified, even though the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on essential health services, including efforts to control and prevent the disease, she said.
Based on the report on the program's achievements in 2020, 470 districts/cities sought early detection of Hepatitis B for more than 2.6 million pregnant women, she noted. Of the total number, 1.68 percent, or 45 thousand, pregnant women were known to be infected with Hepatitis B, she added.
Out of the 32,387 babies born to mothers with Hepatitis B, all had received Hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBig) treatment less than 24 hours after birth, she disclosed.
"As of the end of June, 2021, a report stated that 905 thousand pregnant women had been exposed to Hepatitis B, with 15,403, or 1.7 percent, of them testing positive," Tarmizi said.
Meanwhile, 9,087 babies born to mothers with Hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) were found reactive, she added. Out of the figure, 8,493 received HB 0 and HBig less than 24 hours after birth, she said.
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Besides working to control Hepatitis B, the ministry has also provided Hepatitis C management services through direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs with lower side effects and higher cure rates since 2017, she disclosed.
According to Tarmizi, treatment can serve as a preventive measure to break the chain of Hepatitis C transmission given that a vaccine for the disease is not yet available.
"Gradually, we continue to expand blood tests to detect the presence of antibodies to the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), check HCV RNA viral load using rapid molecular tests for early detection, and expand access to DAA treatment services," she said.
As of 2021, DAA treatment services have been made available in 40 hospitals spread across 18 provinces and, gradually, the services will be expanded to 34 provinces of Indonesia, she informed.
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Furthermore, of the 565,718 people detected through anti-HCV rapid tests, 23,746 have tested positive, she said. Meanwhile, 15,353 have undergone HCV RNA viral load examination and 7,918 have been detected with Hepatitis C virus, she added.
Out of the 7,918 people detected with Hepatitis C virus, 6,659 have received DAA drugs, Tarmizi said.
"Then, out of the 4,419 people who received complete treatment, 96 percent of them have been declared recovered," she added.
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