C H A N D I G A R H   S T O R I E S


Hepatitis C: a silent scourge
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Known as the “silent epidemic”, hepatitis C remains relatively undetected. Many of its victims show few or no symptoms at all for years or even decades
Hepatitis C was discovered in 1989, and since then many studies have been conducted on infected populations.

Early assessments of the total number of infected individuals and rates of infection were greatly underestimated.

According to medical experts, limited information is available about the prevalence and genotype distribution of hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the general population of India.

A community-based study was carried out in a district in West Bengal. At least 3,579 individuals were selected from 10,737 inhabitants of nine villages of the district, of whom 2,973 agreed to participate. Twentysix subjects (0.87 per cent) were HCV antibody positive.

The prevalence increased from 0.31 per cent in subjects less than 10 years of age to 1.85 per cent in those age 60 years.

Although the prevalence of HCV infection in this population was lower than that reported from industrialised countries of the West, it calls for public health measures, including health education to limit the check the problem.

Many of the high risk groups for hepatitis C are easily identified, due to practices resulting in frequent exposures to blood or risk factors for transmission.

Blood transfusions currently seem to account for only approximately 5 to 10 per cent of all cases of hepatitis C. Prior to 1990, there were no tests for hepatitis C, and the rate of post-transfusion hepatitis was between 8 per cent and 10 per cent.

Anyone who received a blood transfusion prior to that time was at risk of getting infection. Incidence among hemophiliacs, who receive frequent transfusions of blood and blood products, is particularly high.

Women who have had cesearean sections prior to 1990 represent another significant risk group, as these operations were frequently accompanied by blood transfusion.

Blood tests have greatly reduced the rate of post-transfusion hepatitis C. CDC estimates the risk factor for transfusion-contracted HCV during the 1990-1993 period at 5 per cent, and the risk of infection was brought down to less than 1 per cent after 1993. Today, the risk of post-transfusion infection is negligible, at approximately 1 per 100,000 units of blood. Blood banks now also notify donors if they detect the virus.

Intravenous drug users represent the largest single risk group. Hepatitis C infection among intravenous drug users is alarming. Sexual contact has been clearly identified as a means of transmitting hepatitis C.

Several studies of risk factors in sexual activity found rates of infection between 1 and 18 per cent for homosexually active individuals, 1 to 10 per cent among heterosexually active individuals, and 1 to 12 per cent among female sex workers, with the primary risk factors for infection being greater numbers of partners, unprotected sex, simultaneous infection with other STD’s, and traumatic sexual activity.



Programmed deliveries recommended
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
To tide over the problems associated with an emergency delivery, the gynaecologists are now promoting the concept of ‘programmed labour’ where the birth is made to take place during the day time, when all medical services are functioning.

“The data collected clearly indicates that as compared to a programmed labour, the morbidity rate in emergency deliveries taking place at night was far more,” informed Prof Sarla Malhotra from the Obstetrics and Gynaecology Department at PGI.

She was speaking at the annual conference of the Northern Indian Society of Gynaecologists Society of India at PGI, today.

She said doctors were recommending programmed delivery as all essential medical services like the blood bank, availability of a senior doctors and other services was better during the day time.

“Here at the PGI also we go in for programmed delivery in selective cases to suit the convenience of the patient, family members and doctors, which could not be possible, in case it is an emergency delivery,” she remarked.

She explained that in case of a elective programmed delivery the labour was induced in such a manner in the morning that the birth took place during the day hours, when all the essential services were at its optimum. This, she said, helped in planning the delivery at a day and time which suited both the patient as well as the 

“However, the biggest limitation is that such programmed deliveries can take place only in the private sector institutions where there are limited number of cases and not in government hospitals, where thousands of deliveries take place every year,” said Professor Malhotra.

During the conference a lecture was delivered by Dr Rashmi Bagga on “Viral hepatitis and pregnancy”. She said in India as well as other Asian countries the viral hepatitis-E form was quite common, for which there was still no cure. “The mortality rate is very high, especially during the last trimester of the pregnancy in case the woman has got the infection,” said Dr Bagga. However, hepatitis-E is not transmitted from the mother to the child and the infection was mainly through contaminated water and food.

She said it was hepatitis-B, which was transmitted from mother to child. “In case the mother tests positive the newborn must be given the vaccine within the first 12 hours after birth,” she said. A lecture on “Thyroid disorders in pregnancy” was delivered by Dr Neelam Aggarwal.



400 persons examined at health camp
Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, April 4
Over 400 persons were examined at a free general health check-up camp, organised at Khuda Ali Sher by the local chapter of the Art of Living, today.
A team of doctors from Government Medical College and Hospital, Sector 32, General Hospital and Dhanwantry Ayurvedic College, along with some private practitioners, examined patients. While eyes of 140 persons were checked, dental care was given to 125 persons. Free blood test facility was provided to 20 persons.



Roller hockey camp from today
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, April 4
The senior national roller hockey camp in both men and women sections will begin at the skating rink of KB DAV Centenary School, Sector 7, here tomorrow. According to Ms Madhu Bahl, Chairman, Roller Skating Federation of India, it is the first camp prior to the participation of the Indian roller hockey team in the Tenth Asian Roller Skating Championship to be held in Akita, Japan, from June 12.

She said selection trials would be followed by the camp. The skaters have been asked to report at the venue by 4 pm. Those who took part in the Ninth Asian Skating Meet in Chinese Taipei, World Championship held in Portugal or last nationals could appear in the trials.

The first camp would be held by April 21 and if needed, it could be extended up to the Senior National Skating Meet to be held in Visakhapatnam from May 20.

Ms Bahl said to participate in the above trials, a skater should be above 12 years as on January 1, 2004. Only those skaters who qualify in the trials would be allowed to join the camp.

Harpreet hits ton

A brilliant knock of 164 runs in just 82 deliveries by Harpreet Singh Sunny helped JJS XI beat Chandigarh Blues by 125 runs in the Division “A” tie of the VIIIth UT League-cum-Knockout Cricket Tournament being played here at the Sector 16 cricket stadium.

Brief scores: JJS XI: 306 runs for five in 35 overs (Harpreet Singh 164, Sumeet Puri 32, Manav Asopa 26, Kulwinder 25; Charanjit 29 n.o., Rintee 2 for 49). Chandigarh Blues: 181 runs for nine in 35 overs (Maninder 39, Mandeep 28, Manpreet 26, Anurag 24; Sumeet Puri 4 for 16, Kulwinder 2 for 48, Devi Singh 2 for 16).

In Division “B” matches played at PEC grounds, Reserve Bank of India defeated City Cricket Club by 13 runs, while Punjab Secretariat XI beat Garhwal Cricket Club by 19 runs.

Brief scores: RBI XI: 179 runs for seven (Vijay Mathur 72, Harwinder Kaku 43; Sumit Verma 2 for 31, Vikas Kansal 2 for 32). City CC: 166 runs all out (Manjit 43, Sumit Verma 35, Subodh 26; Vijay Mathur 3 for 33, Onkar Singh 2 for 34, M.L. Joshi 2 for 35).

Punjab Secretariat XI: 181 runs all out in 29.3 overs (Krishan Mehta 39, Avtar Singh 26; Deepak 4 for 25, Sourav Vig 2 for 40). Garhwal CC: 162 runs all out in 26.4 overs (Deepak Gaur 78; Dinesh 4 for 43).

Title for ITC XI

Vaneet Chawla’s knock of 65 runs in 72 deliveries with five boundaries enabled International Testing Centre XI beat United India Insurance XI by14 runs to win the First Er. Bharat Gupta Memorial Cricket Tournament at PCA Stadium, Mohali, today. Dinesh Mongia, test cricketer, gave away the prizes.

Narinder Walia was adjudged tournament’s best batsman, Amarjit Kumar best all rounder, Ricky Singh best bowler and Harminder Bawa best wicketkeeper.

Brief scores: ITC XI: 210 runs for nine (Vaneet Chawla 65, Ravi Verma 48, Ricky Singh 26, Amit Bhardwaj 23, Harminder Bawa 21; Amarjeet Kumar 4 for 34, Raj Kumar 2 for 39, Ajay Sharma 2 for 43).

UTI XI: 196 runs for eight (Gurdeep Rana 64 n.o., Sanjay Bhatia 39, Ajay Sharma 25 n.o., Amarjeet Kumar 21; Amit Bhardwaj 2 for 24, Rickey Singh 2 for 31, Rajesh Vaid 2 for 33, Dipinder Singh 2 for 35).



Rural sports meet concludes
Our Sports Reporter

Chandigarh, April 4
The three-day annual rural cash prize sports meet organised by Shaheed Bhagat Singh Sports Club, Gram Panchayat, Kajheri village, concluded at the Sector 53 grounds here today. Events like kabaddi, tug-of-war, discus throw, shot put, races, etc. were held during the meet.

In today’s kabaddi final tie, the teams of Mouli and Kumbra village entered into a brawl over a decision, which led to the abandoning of the match.

Mr Arun Kumar, Deputy Commissioner, and Ms Kamlesh, Mayor, Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh, were present on the occasion.


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