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Only 1 percent of hepatitis patients aware of their diagnosis in Kyrgyzstan

Only 1 percent of Kyrgyzstanis suffering from hepatitis B, C, D are aware that they are infected. The head of the Republican Scientific and Practical Center for Control over Viral Infections Zuridin Nurmatov told at a press conference.

«Unfortunately, this is a global trend. WHO conducted a study according to which only 5 percent of patients in the world knew that they were infected three years ago. In 2018, their number increased to 13 percent. Last year, we conducted a research work, examined 1,074 people in Bishkek. It turned out that 4.7 percent of them had hepatitis C, and 3 percent had hepatitis B. The analysis showed that only 1 percent of patients knew that they were infected,» he stressed.

Zuridin Nurmatov added that patients learn about the diagnosis when the disease develops into a liver cirrhosis or cancer.

«Hepatitis C is called a «gentle killer» because it is asymptomatic. People go to hospitals when they already have liver problems. We examined 260 patients with cirrhosis of the liver: 48 percent of the disease was due to hepatitis D, 24 percent — hepatitis C, other 18 — hepatitis B. It is 80 percent totally,» he said.

The head of the center stressed that Kyrgyzstan has adopted a target program «Strategy for Combating Viral Hepatitis for 2017-2022.» Its goal is to reduce the incidence rate of acute viral hepatitis by 90 percent by 2030.

«This is an ambitious plan. We have been vaccinating newborns against hepatitis B since 2002. And today, only four teenagers under the age of 14 have hepatitis B. All of them are not vaccinated,» Zuridin Nurmatov told.