About 22,000 Vietnamese succumb to Hepatitis annually

Every year, 22,000 Vietnamese people succumb to Hepatitis, according to Professor Pham Hoang Phiet, Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Liver and Gall Association.

Hepatitis B virus

Speaking on occasion of World Hepatitis Day on July 28, Professor Phiet, said that Hepatitis C is the most leading cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer.

However, people contracting Hepatitis C virus are completely unaware of the disease and transmission methods and seek medical treatment only when they are suffering chronic cirrhosis.

Moreover, more and more young people are contracting Hepatitis now, said Professor Phiet.

Statistics from the Tropical Disease Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City show that it admits around 800 persons per month for Hepatitis treatment, with most being hospitalized in the last stages of the disease.

Nguyen Van Vinh Chau, the hospital’s director, said Hepatitis is one of the most life threatening viruses in the world and in Vietnam treatment costs are huge.

Health insurance companies in the country only pay for Hepatitis B treatment but cover costs of tests only for Hepatitis C, for which patients spend upto VND100 million (US$4,715) a year.

Accordingly, around 90 percent of Vietnamese contracting Hepatitis cannot afford treatment and discontinue treatment for lack of funds. The annual figure in Vietnam is thus around 22,000 people dying of the disease.

The hospital has now set up a room to provide free Hepatitis consultation to people.

By Tuong Lam - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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