IMPHAL, Aug 30 - A day-long workshop organised by Community Network for Empowerment (CoNE) in partnership with Indian Dental Association, Manipur state branch, has expressed serious concern over the mushrooming of unregistered dental clinics in the State where prevalence of Hepatitis-C and B are very high.
The workshop was held in cooperation with the Directorate of Health Services, and MACS partner NGOs Forum here recently.
Considering the issue of viral Hepatitis in the State and as part of �Healthy Liver Festival�, a month-long annual programme marking the World Hepatitis Day, a one-day workshop on �Prevention of viral Hepatitis B and C at Dental Health Care Settings� was also organised here.
Due to lack of awareness on transmission routes of Hepatitis B and C among the general public, there is poor demand for safe practices from the public to protect themselves during the dental procedure.
Joint Director of Health Services Dr L Nandalal, speaking on the occasion, said the main purpose of the workshop is to prevent infection of viral hepatitis B and C at dental health settings in Manipur. It is said that dentists and dental health care workers are at high risk of infection with hepatitis C virus during their occupational exposures. Similarly they can infect their patients if adequate control is not implemented. As such, use of appropriate personal protective equipment, sterilisers and disinfection procedures is necessary to minimise spread of the disease, he added.
A recent HCV serological survey conducted by CoNE in partnership with Directorate of Health Services across the nine districts covering 1,011 people found that 83 per cent of PWID are infected with hepatitis C. Regrettably, nearly 65 per cent of people living with chronic hepatitis B and 75 per cent of those with chronic hepatitis C are not aware of their infection. Despite its higher prevalence and transmissibility, viral hepatitis C has received far less attention than HIV in the State.
�This kind of workshop is very important and needs to be organised with larger participation considering the prevalence of viral Hepatitis in the State�, said Dr RK Ratankumar, president, Indian Dental Association, Manipur State Branch.