Punjab News Express
CHANDIGARH: Punjab has witnessed sharp rise in the Hepatitis C cases and the Punjab health Department has put about 7500 cases under treatment in the last two months. The department has no exact figures of total cases of Hepatitis C and B.
Ms. Vini Mahajan, Principal Secretary Health & Family Welfare, Punjab said that Certain studies had reported a high prevalence of Hepatitis C in some parts of the State although the exact prevalence and epidemiological data was not available. Keeping in view the problems of Hepatitis C, Department of Health and Family Welfare, Punjab in collaboration with experts in Hepatology of PGIMER Chandigarh prepared the Standard Operating Procedures for treatment of Hepatitis C. Punjab became the first State to provide free treatment of Hepatitis C in the country and the efforts of Punjab have been appreciated by Govt. of India, WHO and other international experts. Under Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund scheme the treatment of Hepatitis C is being provided free of cost at 22 District Hospitals and 3 Govt.
Medical Colleges of the State. Medical and paramedical personnel of these hospitals have been sensitized by the experts of PGIMER in diagnosis and treatment of Hepatitis C cases. With the launch of this scheme, patients do not have travel to PGI or other tertiary care hospitals for treatment of Hepatitis C as the treatment is now available in their respective districts. The experts of Hepatology of PGIMER Chandigarh are monitoring the implementation of the programme through ECHO clinics under which the medical specialists of 25 centres connect online with the experts and discuss the cases. The experts of Hepatology of PGI will be visiting the districts for monitoring and evaluation of the programme in coming days.
The trends of the reports show that out of the total cases started on treatment 14% cases had cirrhosis of liver and these patients had higher chances of morbidity and mortality had treatment not been provided to them. Out of the total cases more than 1000 cases belong to Sangrur, 881 in Mukatsar, 780 in faridkot, 607 in Mansa and 527 in Moga. Appx 2700 patients have started the treatment of second month after successful completion of treatment for first month. The Department of Health and Family Welfare has sufficient stocks of the medicines for HCV maintained at 3 drug ware houses and implementation of the programme is monitored daily.