All Aspects of Hepatitis Discussed at the National Event in Our City

Our Rector Prof. Dr. Nurullah Okumuş participated in the 11th National Symposium on Viral Hepatitis (XI. UVHS) organized by Turkey Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases Society (KLİMİK) in Afyonkarahisar. XI. UVHS in which the Head of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology at AFSÜ Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Dr. Neşe Demirtürk who is directing KLIMİK Viral Hepatitis Study Group was assigned as the Chairman and Uz. Dr. Petek Konya and Uz. Dr. Zerrin Aşçı from Afyon State Hospital were assigned as the general secretary of the symposium was held at NG Güral Wellness Hotel.

In XI. UVHS in which many specialist physicians showed interest and lasted two days, infectious diseases specialists were informed about the management of viral hepatitis in special patient groups and opinions were exchanged. At the symposium where current developments on viral hepatitis were discussed; 25 speakers who are experienced in viral hepatitis such as Prof. Dr. Bilgehan Aygen, Prof. Dr. İsmail Balık, Prof. Dr. Onur Ural, Prof. Dr. Haluk Eraksoy, Prof. Dr. Sıla Akhan working in different medical faculties as well as 55 infectious diseases specialists participated as audience.

Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C management mainly was discussed in special patient groups such as renal failure, hemodialysis, immune deficient, pregnant, decompensated cirrhosis, liver or kidney transplant, HIV infection in the organization that was held as total 12 sessions. In the sessions where new developments in chronic Hepatitis B and C treatments and vaccination studies were also evaluated, it was emphasized that there are treatment options that can be used in chronic hepatitis, even in difficult patient groups, and that chronic Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C can be treated with careful management.

  1. UVHS in which The World Health Organization’s 2030 hepatithelimation program was emphasized, “Turkey Viral Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program 2018-2023” released by the Ministry of Health was also discussed. Participants drew attention to the importance of increasing awareness in the society and increasing the number of patients that can be reached by screening risky groups in reducing viral hepatitis.

“Treatment success of 1387 chronic Hepatitis C patients was found to be 99%.”

Providing information about the topics discussed at the symposium, Prof. Dr. Neşe Demirtürk said that with the amendment in the Health Implementation Notice published in the Official Gazette dated June 18, 2016, drugs that have achieved 90-100 percent success in the treatment of HepatitisC in the world in recent years are included in the reimbursement scope. Stating that there is no official statement about the number of patients receiving treatment by the Ministry of Health, it is estimated that approximately 8-9 thousand patients received treatment Prof. Dr. Demirtürk said, “The success rate of the patients who are treated is very high and it is between 90-100% in line with the world. In a study we conducted as the Viral Hepatitis Study Group, treatment success was found to be 99% in 1387 chronic Hepatitis C patients treated with new drugs.” she said.

“We need to find patients who need treatment.”

Indicating that approximately 750 thousand hepatitis C cases is estimated that in Turkey Prof. Dr. Demirtürk continued his words as follows: “However, we see that around 1.5% of patients can reach treatment. Most patients are not even aware that they are carrying the virus. For this reason, we first need to increase awareness about the disease and find patients who need treatment. The goal of finding hepatitis patients with or without treatment is extremely important. In order to achieve this goal, it is of great importance to establish screening, prevention and treatment campaigns. “

“The best way to prevent hepatitis C is to treat patients and eliminate contagiousness.”

Prof. Dr. Neşe Demirtürk said that one of the important reasons why dialysis patients are at high risk is hemodialysis machines that are not cleaned adequately. Prof. Dr. Demirtürk said: “International guidelines do not recommend the separation of machines and patients. This is because the virus is present in low titers in infected serum and is rapidly inactivated at room temperature.

Within the scope of the Regulation on Dialysis Centers prepared by the Ministry of Health, it is obligatory to use separate machines for Hepatitis C positive patients. This application may be correct since Hepatitis C is more common in hemodialysis patients in our country. It is important to follow the patients serologically in hemodialysis units and to screen the hepatitis serologies of healthcare personnel at regular intervals. The best way to prevent hepatitis C is to treat patients and eliminate contagiousness. “

“It is sad that the hepatitis patient is not aware of his condition.”

Pointing out chronic hepatitis B and C, both in Turkey and the worl,  that the most important cause of liver cancer and liver transplantation in the world, Prof. Dr. Neşe Demirtürk made the following evaluations: “However, it is sad that at least 60-70 percent of the patients are not even aware that they are sick. It is of great importance to inform the public about hepatitis, identify and treat patients, and prevent transmission routes.

The fact that we can be protected from Hepatitis B with a vaccine 99%, and that we can treat Hepatitis C with a success of 95-100% even if we cannot be protected by vaccine, is an indication of our strength. Therefore, informing the public and raising awareness in every way we can reach will be the best practice that can be done to eradicate hepatitis in the future. “

Güncelleme Tarihi: 29 March 2021