In a study published last year in the Journal of Medical Virology, 1.1% of the 20,104 pregnant women tested at Lady Hardinge Medical College over one year were found positive for the infection.
“A similar study was conducted in 1987 by Dr NC Nayak where 8,700 women were tested and the frequency was found to be 3.3%. There is a decrease in the frequency which confirms that the vaccination programme has been effective,” said Dr SK Sarin, director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences, who was also part of the study.
“This also confirms the majority (about 75%) of the infection travels from mother to the baby,” he added.
“Awareness levels about the disease are really low and the best way to create it is through children,” said Dr Sarin. The hospital is organising a lecture on the occasion of the World Hepatitis Day on Tuesday.