Parents Should Educate Children About Hepatitis A,B, C Diseases.

Image Source - This is work of Dr Souvik Chatterji

There Are Vaccines For Hepatitis A, B Diseases But Not Hepatitis C Disease.

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Parents should get their children vaccinated for Hepatitis A, B disease. There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C. But parents can educate children about the disease to stay away from the disease.

There are many diseases. While the common diseases like malaria, typhoid are known by the common mass, the new diseases like Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C are not known widely in India. In India, parents are provided with Vaccination chart for different diseases by the hospitals and nursing homes after the children are born there. The parents follow the chart and take the children to the pediatricians or children’s doctors and get their children vaccinated against the respective disease.

Hepatitis is A is a serious disease in India. It includes a viral infection of the liver caused by Hepatitis A virus (HAV). Parents of children should get their children vaccinated for Hepatitis A

The symptoms of the diseases are as follows. For the first few days there is heavy fever. Here is a risk. People think they have ordinary viral infection. So they go for wrong treatment. There is fatigue.  It is followed by jaundice within a few days.

Hepatitis A vaccine provides adequate inoculation for the disease. Immune globulin (IG) is recommended for all susceptible persons. Water can be boiled to high temperature to see no scope of the spread of the disease.

Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV is transmitted through activities that involves contact with blood or blood-derived fluids.   

It starts with regular fever. The fever comes and goes. That is the biggest difficulty. People get fever during cough and cold also. So unless the doctor is trained he or she will not anticipate Hepatitis B. Bodyache is common and patients become weak. Patients may also get jaundice within a few days.

Hepatitis B vaccine is recommended worldwide for people in different professions. Prevention is better than cure. If the child is vaccinated he or she will never get Hepatitis B ever in life. Once someone contracts the disease it is very difficult to treat the patient.

Hepatitis C is another dangerous disease. Hepatitis C is caused by Hepatitis C virus (HCV). HCV is transmitted primarily through activities that result in the exchange of blood. It is less commonly transmitted by sexual activity.

For Hepatitis C also there is heavy fever. Thereafter the patient suffers from bodyache. There is also chance of urine getting brown after sometime. There is no vaccination available for Hepatitis C at the moment. That makes life difficult for everyone. So there is no scope of the parents consulting the pediatricians and getting their child vaccinated at the early age and cutting off any chance of getting Hepatitis C. Treatment in case of Hepatitis C is very complicated. It is difficult also. There are huge amount of chance of the patient dying after contracting Hepatitis C.

As far as Hepatitis A, B and C diseases are concerned, if they are compared with the common diseases like Typhoid, Tetanus, Diptheria, Whooping Cough, etc., the awareness available to people at large is very less. Majority of people all across the world hardly know about these diseases, their symptoms, their care and protection.

When parents of children are given a choice of vaccines by the pediatricians or child’s doctors, they generally avoid these types of vaccines and go for the more common vaccines. But these diseases are very dangerous and if vaccines are not taken the bodies have potential threat of contracting the diseases and suffering seriously.

The scope of getting the vaccines at the right age for the children are getting jeopardized very seriously due to the fact that in India and many of the third world countries, many of the parents have transferrable jobs. The child might have been born in Kolkata, India, then due to the new posting of the parents, the child might have shifted to USA for 1 year. Thereafter the child might have returned back with the parents and settled in Jaipur, India. Thereafter again the parents are transferred to Jodhpur. So if a common pediatrician is consulted who creates a vaccination chart for the child, in many cases, the parents cannot continue with the vaccines after the child has attained an age of 4 to 5 years. But the requirement of the vaccines can continue till 15 years of the child.

Cost of the vaccines also stand in the way in respect of getting the children vaccinated. Many of the vaccines are very expensive and cannot be afforded by middle class Indians or lower middle class Indians. Then for the entire life of the child, there is potential threat of contracting the disease and the sufferance.

Many of the modern vaccines just like many of the modern medicines are very new. Even the middle aged parents did not know about the diseases during their childhood. Hepatitis A, B, C had been known in India only after the late 1990s. The invention, the cure, the vaccines all developed late. So where there is no awareness there is no urgency also on the part of the parents in respect of getting their children vaccinated. Besides there are certain age brackets where the children are supposed to be given the vaccine. So if the child attain adulthood after that giving the vaccines make no sense. The anti-bodies even if formed contain combat the disease. At the same time the child can contract the disease even before getting the vaccine.

In India Biology is taught from Class 5 and 6 in the ICSE, CBSE and Board schools of different states in the country. There should a separate chapter which should deal with the different diseases in details and the vaccines available in the country to stop the diseases. Children should be expected to know them and take them seriously. While teaching the child, the parent also gets educated about the diseases. In the perspective of India, awareness creation is the greatest challenge in addition to supply of equipments and training of doctors. If children learn about these diseases at an early they will learn about the manner of cure and reduce the chances of getting the diseases.

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