Hepatitis-C spreading tentacles in Muktsar : The Tribune India

Hepatitis-C spreading tentacles in Muktsar

MUKTSAR: Despite the fact that hepatitis-C can damage liver, a majority of the people afflicted with the disease in Muktsar district are either unaware of its effects or unwilling to undergo treatment.

Archit Watts

Tribune News Service

Muktsar, June 15

Despite the fact that hepatitis-C can damage liver, a majority of the people afflicted with the disease in Muktsar district are either unaware of its effects or unwilling to undergo treatment. Notably, the district has the most cancer cases in the state, with an average of 136 cancer patients per one lakh people.

A team of doctors led by Dr Madan Mohan Bansal and Dr Ajesh Bansal organised a special medical camp yesterday. Out of the 960 people examined, 464 were diagnosed with hepatitis-C. “Surprisingly, over 360 people already knew that they had hepatitis-C but were not getting treatment anywhere,” said Dr Bansal.

He said, “Earlier, the treatment of this disease costed about Rs 2.5 lakh for a patient. Now, the cost of treatment has come down to Rs 80,000-Rs 90,000 and the disease is curable too. Still, people are reluctant about getting the treatment just because the government has not done anything much to spread awareness.”

He said if hepatitis-C is not treated on time, it could cause liver cirrhosis, which could prove to be dangerous. Liver cirrhosis causes cancer.

Similarly, a private laboratory owner on the Abohar road said a large number of people were daily being diagnosed with hepatitis-C, especially in villages falling in the Bhagsar zone.

However, Dr Vikram Asija, District Epidemiologist, Muktsar, said, “We have conducted screening for hepatitis-C patients in just four villages in Muktsar. There were five patients in Kanianwali, eight in Jagatsinghwala, 23 in Ballamgarh and three in Ghagga. However, on the basis of the findings of these four villages, we can’t come to any conclusion about the number of total hepatitis-C patients in the district.”He added that the state government provided medicine for hepatitis-C at subsidised rates.

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