Hepatitis B and C: Neglected Infectious Diseases among Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Mahmasani Layal Al, Bayram Zeina, Musharrafieh Umayya, Bizri Abdul Rahman
2022 Journal of Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology  
Hepatitis B and C are life-threatening infections that can result in liver-associated complications. Lebanon is a country experiencing its worst economic and political crises to date and is considered to be of low endemicity for hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Aim: This study aims to assess the prevalence of HBV and HCV infections among the Lebanese and the Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon, to describe the actual situation beyond statistical scrutiny, and to identify the
more » ... risks and long-term consequences associated with neglecting these infections. Methods: Data on the prevalence of HBV and HCV among the Lebanese population and Syrian refugees residing in Lebanon was obtained and sorted based on age and gender. The prevalence of HBV and HCV among these groups was compared to the prevalence among the Syrians remaining in Syria. The expected number of HBV and HCV cases in Lebanon was then calculated based on the total number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon. An extensive literature review was conducted using Medline, Google Scholar, and PubMed. Conclusion: HBV and HCV are neglected diseases among the Syrian refugee population in Lebanon. Continued neglect can increase the risk of chronic viral hepatitis complications and mortality, further increasing the health and economic burden in Lebanon. Urgent action is needed by the host country and by the international community to achieve better surveillance, detection and linkage to medical care in order to manage and prevent unexpected consequences.
doi:10.23937/2474-3658/1510261 fatcat:ebilci35hjctphtvhpqxei7sfm