Hepatitis C, Another ‘Silent Killer’ After HIV-AIDS – Hepatitis C illustrated.
BOGOR – Unlike other diseases, Hepatitis C is still less well known in the community. In fact, the prevalence of Indonesian people infected Hepatitis C disease has been 2.5 percent or about 5 million people.
“If referring to research data from the Ministry of Health in 2013, it is equivalent to 10 Indonesian people, one person infected with Hepatitis C,” said Chairman of Indonesian Lever Research (PPHI), Irsan Hasan while speaking in the discussion ‘Public Awareness on Hepatitis C’ which held by Indonesian Drugs User Network (PKNI) in Bogor on Friday (3/11).
In the world, Hepatitis C is now known as ‘Silent Killer’ or a disease that does not cause special symptoms until patients in chronic condition.
“Public will not know if he contracted Hepatitis C virus if not tested in the laboratorium,” said Irsan.
The number of people who do not know and aware if he suffered from Hepatitis C is very reasonable. Because, 80 percent of cases of Hepatitis C showed no symptoms. That’s because the liver has no nerves.
“Based on my experience as a specialist in internal medicine, patients who come on average cases of hepatitis infection are detected after a chronic infection and end up with cirrhosis (liver tissue formation) of the liver,” he said.
Irsan said Indonesians who had been convicted of liver cancer with cirrhoses had a very small chance of recovery. Not infrequently they also lead to death.
“Examples of cases of chronic infections of the liver with cirrhoses that occurred in Democratic Party politicians who had been detained in Sukamiskin Prison, Sutan Batoegana,” he giving an example.
In Indonesia, until now cirrhosis patients have a chance to live only about 4 months or about 120 days after the patient is convicted of the disease.
“The treatment that can be advanced is liver transplantation, so in Indonesia nearly 95 percent of these patients can not be cured,” he said.
In the same place, Head of Hepatitis Section, Hepatitis and Gastrointestinal Infectious Diseases, DG of P2P, Ministry of Health, dr. Regina T. Sidjabat, M.Epid said Hepatitis C is 10 times more infectious than HIV virus.
“Community homework as an infectious disease with a large burden of infection but lost to HIV, Malaria and Tubercolosis (TB),” she said.
She asserted, the prevention of risk factors is a priority and requires commitment from various parties.
Regina also confirmed if for those who have been infected with the HIV virus, the tendency of Hepatitis C is also large.
“60-70 percent, we are entrusted to check Hepatitis B and C for HIV patients,” he said.
Program Manager of PKNI, Arif Irawan said, the conditions experienced by people who are infected with Hepatitis C at this time, just as the condition of the people of Indonesia at the beginning of HIV spread a few years ago.
“It is not only difficult to detect but the medicine is still rare and expensive, for the test alone, the funds can reach Rp2.5 million, not to mention the very expensive drugs,” he said.
However, nowadays, people have been able to enjoy government services to conduct tests at Puskesmas
“There are programs from the government that are cheap tests and drugs that can be done by Puskesmas in 32 provinces in Indonesia,” he said.
Izul, one of those convicted of Hepatitis C admitted if he just found out he was exposed to Hepatitis C after undergoing tests in 2008 and start treatment since 2011.
“From 2008 to before the treatment, I do not feel any pain, it’s just easy to feel weak. After I’ve been F3, I can still gym and play football,” he said.
He also explained if people can use BPJS in the treatment of Hepatitis C.
“The BPJS scheme is easier in special clinics, which need to be understood is the level from below, what needs, access and availability of treatment time,” he said. (zet/ebecca/utasuhut/RH)