There are five main hepatitis viruses.Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted from man to man
The Government will set up ten regional laboratories through the National Communicable Disease Center (NCDC) for the surveillance of viral hepatitis, which kills more people than HIV/AIDS in India.
"The aim of these laboratories will be to find the burden of viral hepatitis in India by 2017 and to provide lab support for investigating outbreaks," Mr Lov Verma, secretary, union health ministry said at a roundtable consultation organised by the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in collaboration with WHO Country Office for India on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day.
He also stressed on focusing on the preventive aspects rather than the treatment of viral Hepatitis given the limited health resources in India.
Mass awareness, education and setting up of universal guidelines for immunization are needed to fight the disease which kills three lakh people across the country every year.
"Standardization of blood bank practices and introduction of nucleic acid testing (NAT) is important for preventing blood transfusions related to viral hepatitis," Mr Verma said. There are five main hepatitis viruses, types A, B, C, D and E of which B and C are the most fatal as it can lead to liver cirrhosis and cancer. Hepatitis B and C are both blood borne and can be transmitted from man to man.