Doctors in India express concern over rising hepatitis B cases

Hepatitis B cases are on the rise in Bihar, India, and vaccinations must increase to prevent children from dying of the disease, according to the director of the pediatric department of a Gurgaon-based hospital.

Neelam Mohan, the director of the Medanta Medicity hospital's pediatric department, made the statement on Sunday during the second day of a two-day state-level conference of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics. Mohan said that hepatitis B is much more infectious than HIV/AIDS and without effective controls, people will continue to suffer from major liver illnesses, the Times of India reports.

Bihar Pedicon 2013 registered a large number of participants, in part, because the conference was granted 12 continuous medical education credit hours by the Medical Council of India. As a result, there were many other speakers on hand to discuss other pediatric issues in India.

Suhash Prabhu, a representative of Mumbai's Hinduja Hospital, said that tuberculosis is also a problem significantly affecting children. Prabhu said that children are being hit with more regularity by multi-drug resistant TB.

Rajiva Tandon, a Delhi-based doctor, said that despite breakthroughs in medical technology, infants and mothers are still dying in large numbers and changes must be put in place to reverse the trend.

Subendhu Mandal, a doctor with the Kolkata-based BM Birla Heart Institute, was also on hand to discuss congenital heart disease in children, the Times of India reports.