16December2017

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Delhi Govt. gives free medicine to all Hepatitis C patients

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 BS RAWAT
NEW DELHI: Free medicines and tests are being provided by the Delhi government to combat Hepatitis in the national capital.

In a move to curb Hepatitis C cases, the Delhi government on December 4, 2017, announced the free availability of two crucial Hepatitis C medicines at its hospitals and health institutions.

Health minister, Satyendar Jain, who made this announcement, added, “These crucial drugs increase life expectancy of patients. They are available for free in Delhi government hospitals. Two more medicines will be made available for free very shortly.”

Mr Jain also launched a Free Mobile Liver Screening Van which conducts door to door screening for liver diseases in Delhi. These screening vans provide free liver screening to people of Delhi. The van has facility for on board Fibroscan – a unique but costly test that assesses the stiffness of the liver without the need for skin invasion.

The test is painless like an ultrasound and gives accurate results in a matter of minutes. The van also collects blood from willing public for liver screening tests for Hepatitis B and C and other parameters associated with liver diseases. All these tests are being done free of cost and the public will not have to pay even for registration with the van.

Jain further said, “For this project the government is cooperating with health institutions like ILBS to promote the health and well being of the people of Delhi.”

Dr S.K. Sarin, Director ILBS, told DTMT that only children can make a difference in the understanding of hepatitis B. He expressed regret that children get this disease from their mothers for no fault of theirs. Dr Sarin exhorted everyone to “Be Aware and Make Aware” and to take a pledge to get every newborn vaccinated.

He requested the government to make Hepatitis a notifiable disease and stop discrimination of the infected.

Dr Sarin pointed out the irony that despite the liver being responsible for majority of diseases, yet other organs like the heart get more public attention.

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