As many as 1,519 cases of Hepatitis C have been successfully treated and tested negative after three and six month treatment at Civil Hospital Barnala under the free treatment scheme of Punjab government. The Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis C Relief Fund (MMPHCRF) programmme was started in the state on June 18, 2016. As per records of health department, 1,329 patients were registered till March 31, 2017 from the commencement of the programme and 706 patients were enrolled for free treatment during 2017-18. Till June 20, 2018, 2410 cases have been registered for the free treatment under the MMPHCRF scheme and out of which, 1519 have been tested negative of Hepatitis C after a sustained virologic response (SVR) test.Civil Surgeon Barnala Dr. Jugal Kishore said that after three months of the completion of the treatment, the health department conducts an SVR test to make sure that that patient has successfully treated from Hepatitis C. He added the department also issues a certificate to the patient after the SVR test results negative. He said that it is a communicable
Dr. Jugal Kishore also informed that Hepatitis C is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis C virus (HCV) and the virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis infection, ranging in severity, from a mild illness lasting a few weeks, to a serious, lifelong illness.Civil Surgeon, while enlightening symptoms of Hepatitis C, said that in most of cases the patients suffers from points Fever, fatigue, decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, grey-coloured faeces, joint pain and jaundice which also includes yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes.Dr. Jugal Kishore said that the disease transmits through various ways which also includes reuse or inadequate sterilisation of medical equipment, especially syringes and needles. He added that sharing syringes and needles while injecting drugs and transfusion of unscreened blood also becomes major reason of communication of Hepatitis C. He said that HCV can also be transmitted sexually and can be passed from an infected mother to her baby but these modes of transmission are not common.He also clarified that Hepatitis C does not spread through breast milk, food or water or by hugging, kissing and sharing food or drinks with an infected person.Vipin Singla, manager Hepatitis C programme Barnala, said, “The test includes HCV viral load which costs around Rupees 1,800 and HCV genotype which also cost Rs 1,800 have been tested free of cost for the enrolled patients.” He said besides giving free treatment to the patients, the department has also been facilitating SVR test free of cost for the patients under the scheme, which is conducted after three months of the completion of the treatment.