PUTRAJAYA: Those at high risk of being exposed to hepatitis B and hepatitis C should start getting themselves screened, said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.
According to him, this follows a rising in trend in both diseases over the past few years.
“The prevalence of hepatitis B and hepatitis C among Malaysians is about 1.9 per cent out of 11,000 people.
“This is based on the data obtained from the free screening provided by the ministry for Malaysians at all public health facilities since July, in conjunction with World Hepatitis Day,” he said at the ministry's monthly assembly today.
Dr Dzulkefly added that in the case of hepatitis B, the figure increased from 12.94 patients out of 100,000 people in 2014, to 14.52 patients out of 100,000 in 2018.
"For hepatitis C, an estimated 3,000 cases are reported to the health ministry every year. Last year, a total of 2,842 new cases were reported with a prevalence of 8.77 patients out of 100,000 people," he said.
In conjunction with the World Hepatitis Day, which carries the theme "Finding the Missing Millions", the ministry has launched the National Strategic Plan on Viral Hepatitis.
"This document outlines holistic strategies and action plans for implementation and monitoring activities and programmes related to the disease.
"Apart from that, hepatitis screenings have also been carried out at 112 facilities under the ministry, conducted in collaboration with the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative and the Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics.
"We will also screen the Orang Asli in Rompin Pahang for hepatitis B under the 'Koi Sihat' campaign, among other initiatives," he added.