Hepatitis - B Vaccination: Current Status of a Hilly Area of Uttarakhand and Strategies for Improvement

A. Semalty, Mona Semalty, R.K. Jain, R.K. Rishi

Hepatitis B is endemic throughout the world, especially in tropical and developing countries. The World Health Organization has recommended universal immunization of hepatitis B (HB) vaccine way back in 1980s. But in India still the debate is going on, to include the Hepatitis B vaccination in Expanded Program of Immunization. In the present study a survey of local population was done to know the awareness and immunization status of Hepatitis B in the local population of Srinagar Garhwal. The number of population (n=650 with age range 18-64 years) selected randomly from the persons coming to two big hospital of the area. It was observed that about 60 % population is not vaccinated against the disease. Moreover, in spite of a good awareness status (56.46 %) only 39.38 % of the local population was found to be vaccinated while 20.77 % (135) persons were not vaccinated (among the aware population only). The article further provides the model strategies to improve the awareness and vaccination status.
Liver diseases are among the most important causes of serious illness and are responsible for death of patients between 20 and 50 years- the most productive part of human life1. With 4.7 per cent population carrying the hepatitis B virus, India is moderately endemic and bracketed in the ‘intermediate zone’ [between 2-7 per cent of the population.2, 3 India ranks among the bottom ten nations in global ranking for health parameters, while in liver diseases it ranks fourth or fifth worldwide. India has about 50 million carriers of Hepatitis B virus, 35 per cent of acute hepatitis and 75 per cent of cirrhosis and chronic hepatitis and 40 per cent of all liver cancers. Many studies have shown that in Asian and African populations, hepatitis virus has much more chances to cause chronic carrier problems rather than in the White population. It could be the genetic susceptibility of the population that is causing the problem4.


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