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New 35 treatment centres for free treatment of Hepatitis C.


" Chandigarh,
July 28 (HS) : Witnessing the 93 percent cure rate of Hepatitis treatment in the
State, Punjab Government has decided to dedicate 35 additional treatment
centres for Hepatitis C. This program started with 25 treatment centres, and
now in 2020, Punjab State has increased the treatment sites to 60. It was
disclosed by the Health & Family Minister 
Balbir Singh Sidhu on the occasion of 'World Hepatitis Day'.

The Minister
said that Punjab was the first state in India to start Hepatitis C treatment .
"Since then, we have tested more than 1.63 lakh persons, out of which
85,000 people were put over on treatment of Hepatitis C. All the services are
available free of cost in Govt Hospitals."

He  further said that last year, on World
Hepatitis Day, the Captain Amarinder Singh led Punjab Government started the
free treatment services of Hepatitis C in jails where screening of inmates is
done inside prisons and treatment of Hepatitis C is provided in the jails.

This year, Special drive would be conducted to
screen all pregnant women for Hepatitis B and children for Hepatitis B
Immunoglobulin (HBIG) born to the hepatitis B infected mothers adding that he
said  Punjab became also, the first state
to initiate Hepatitis C testing and treatment of people living with HIV under
the Unitaid-supported HEAD-Start program in partnership with FIND and CHAI.
Under this campaign, testing of around 80 percent of people living with HIV has
been completed.

The Cabinet
Minister applauded that all of this could be possible only because of our
highly motivated healthcare workers backed by the strong political will to
combat viral hepatitis. Sidhu stated that the State Government is also going to
start a research project, in collaboration with PGI and CHAI, to understand the
underlying Risk Factors associated with hepatitis C in Punjab. In the next 18
months, experts will present their findings so that it can take a focused
approach to curtail the risk factors. It will help us to move faster towards
the elimination of hepatitis C from the state of Punjab. The Government of
Punjab is fully committed to work together towards a ‘Hepatitis-Free future’.

Samachar/ Narinder Jagga