The number of people with hepatitis B in Indonesia is still quite high, which is around 7.1% of the entire population of Indonesia or about 18 million cases. Lack of information on how to prevent the transmission of this disease is one of the causes of the increasing number of hepatitis B cases.
Hepatitis B is a disease caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). The virus attacks the liver and can trigger acute and chronic hepatitis B.
Everyone has a risk of contracting hepatitis B, whether infants, children, or adults. However, this disease can be prevented with the hepatitis B vaccine.
Ways of Transmission of Hepatitis B
There are two ways of transmitting hepatitis B, namely vertical and horizontal transmission. Vertical transmission occurs from pregnant women who suffer from hepatitis B to their babies during childbirth.
Meanwhile, horizontal spread occurs through contact with body fluids, such as semen, vaginal fluids, blood, urine, feces, and saliva from people infected with the hepatitis B virus to other people.
Several things that can cause horizontal transmission of the hepatitis B virus are:
- Risky sexual relationships, for example frequently changing sexual partners or having sex without a condom
- The use of unsterile needles and sharing with other people, for example in tattooing or using drugs in the form of injections
- Same-sex sex
- Living with someone who has hepatitis B
- Certain medical procedures, such as dialysis or hemodialysis and blood transfusions
Lack of information, understanding, and steps to prevent hepatitis B infection is one of the reasons for the high number of hepatitis B cases in Indonesia.
The lack of coverage of hepatitis B vaccination and the delay in diagnosis and treatment of this disease also make it easier for sufferers to transmit the hepatitis B virus.
Therefore, in an effort to reduce the number of hepatitis B cases, the government recommends everyone to get the hepatitis B vaccine, both adults and newborns.
How to Prevent Transmission of Hepatitis B
Through the Ministry of Health, the Indonesian government has made various efforts to suppress the spread of hepatitis B, including the movement to immunize hepatitis B in infants since 1997.
Starting in 2010, the government began to aggressively disseminate hepatitis B widely on the commemoration of World Hepatitis Day on 28 July.
Prevention efforts were also carried out by making hepatitis control manuals, posters, pocket books, and seminars on hepatitis in several cities in Indonesia for health workers and the public.
In addition, the government also urges all health facilities to carry out early detection of hepatitis B in pregnant women and high-risk groups, including health workers, as a step to cut the chain of hepatitis B transmission.
Efforts to reduce the number of cases and transmission of hepatitis B can be carried out by all members of the community by following the following steps:
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis B.
- Live safe and healthy sex behavior, namely by wearing a condom when having sex and not changing sexual partners.
- Perform wound care properly and do not touch body fluids, such as blood and pus directly.
- Avoid mashing food by chewing and giving it to the baby from the mother's mouth.
- Avoid sharing personal equipment, such as razors, toothbrushes, and towels, with other people.
- Make sure the needle is sterile for medication, ear piercing, or tattooing.
- Use gloves when touching or cleaning body fluids and objects belonging to people with hepatitis B, such as wound bandages, bandages, towels, or bed linen.
- Clean the affected area with a cleaning solution mixed with water.
Hepatitis B Vaccination Dosage and Schedule
Hepatitis B vaccine is one type of mandatory immunization in Indonesia. This vaccine can be given to infants, children, and adults with the following schedule of administration:
Hepatitis B vaccine for babies is given 4 times, ie no later than 12 hours after the baby is born and when the baby is 2, 3, and 4 months old.
For children who have previously received the hepatitis B vaccine, they will be re-vaccinated (booster) when they were 18 months old.
Teens and adults
For adolescents and adults who have never received the hepatitis B vaccine, the vaccine should be given 3 times, with a gap between the first and second doses of 4 weeks, while the gap between the first and third doses is 16 weeks.
To get hepatitis B vaccination, you can visit a health facility, such as a vaccination clinic or hospital.
If you are at risk for hepatitis B or have certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, HIV, and kidney disease, you should immediately consult a doctor so that examination, treatment, and preventive measures can be taken. Thus, the number of hepatitis B cases in Indonesia can be reduced.