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Country needs a super-specialised liver instt and more hepatologists

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07th-Dec-2018       
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ONE in every three people in Bangladesh is suffering from some liver disease, according to a study which was revealed at the 5th International Hepatology Conference-2018 hosted by Hepatology Society in Dhaka recently. The nature and extent of liver diseases have taken a dramatic turn in the country due to the revolution in the socio-economic condition of the people. The conference discussed on the eradication of hepatitis B virus, curative treatment of hepatitis C virus, prevention of fatty liver disease, management of liver disease of the mothers and newborns.
Prof Mobin Khan, Head of the Survey Mission, said: 'We are facing an epidemic of liver diseases, from communicable to non-communicable pattern. One crore Bangladeshi citizen are suffering from chronic hepatitis and more than four crore people are suffering from fatty liver disease.'
The astonishing information, delivered in the conference, was that the number of liver specialists in our country is less than one hundred. That means, there is only one liver specialist against 20 lakh patients. Undoubtedly, these findings are highly disturbing especially when the nature and extent of liver diseases are turning for the worse. So it's clear that, every person is in danger of getting infected from communicable to non-communicable liver disease either in city or in rural areas. Usually, Bangladesh suffers an epidemic of hepatitis E round the year, apart from sporadic attacks of hepatitis B and C. This year, the Chattogram city suffered a severe outbreak of hepatitis E in April and July.
We know, Bangladesh is not yet fully equipped to combat boldly such outbreaks. Presently, around 400 people go to neighbouring India for liver treatment every month. Earlier it needed more than one crore Indian Rupee for liver transplantation. Now, it has been reduced to 25 lakh.
There are separate government specialised hospitals in the country for treatment of heart, kidney, eye and other diseases. So, if we could provide full treatment for liver disease with our own resources, it will save a huge amount of money every year. Country at present needs a super-specialised liver institute and a group of specially-trained hepatologists to tackle such liver disease epidemics.


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