Chandigarh, April 17
In a bid to combat increasing incidence of liver diseases, the Department of Hepatology at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGI) has collaborated with the Department of Psychiatry to launch a new service for patients attending the liver clinic.
The alcohol use disorder (AUD) clinic was inaugurated here on Monday. The aim of the clinic is to counsel patients with alcohol-related liver disease and chronic viral hepatitis due to intravenous drug abuse within the liver clinic, and, if required, provide medication or refer them to the main de-addiction centre run by the Department of Psychiatry.
The AUD clinic has been started as part of a de-addiction outreach programme, and is aimed at preventing alcohol-associated liver disease and hepatitis B and C infections. The Department of Hepatology has emphasised the importance of an integrated AUD clinic and point of care de-addiction services. The clinic will operate on Mondays and Fridays in the New OPD complex.
The launch coincides with World Liver Day, which is observed every year on April 19. The day is dedicated to spreading awareness about liver diseases amongst general public. Three most common causes of chronic liver disease in India and worldwide are non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcohol-associated liver disease, and chronic viral hepatitis. These diseases are associated with significant complications and can develop into end-stage liver disease and primary liver cancer if not detected and treated early.
The clinic will provide much-needed support to patients suffering from alcohol-related liver disease and chronic viral hepatitis due to intravenous drug abuse. It will offer counselling services as well as medication and referrals to the main de-addiction centre run by the Department of Psychiatry, as needed.
Prof Vivek Lal, PGI Director, said: "With the rapidly increasing incidence of liver diseases, including those related to alcohol, viral hepatitis, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the new clinic is a welcome addition to PGI's services. It is hoped the clinic will not only help patients in their recovery but also prevent onset of alcohol-related liver disease and hepatitis B and C infections."
Apart from the launch, the Department of Hepatology has also planned several other activities for World Liver Day. A liver health wellness programme for PGI faculty will be conducted, which includes screening using Fibroscan and blood sampling for viral markers.
Fibroscan is a non-invasive test that assesses liver fat and fibrosis and is helpful in identifying liver diseases due to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcohol-related liver disease, and viral hepatitis at an early stage. Blood samples will also be taken to assess the protection of PGI faculty against hepatitis B infection.
Will offer counselling & medication
- PGI’s Dept of Hepatology has tied up with Dept of Psychiatry to start an alcohol use disorder (AUD) clinic for patients attending liver clinic
- Patients with alcohol-related liver disease and chronic viral hepatitis due to intravenous drug abuse will be counselled
- If required, they will be given medication or referred to main de-addiction centre run by Dept of Psychiatry
- Aim is to prevent alcohol-linked liver disease and hepatitis B and C. Clinic will operate on Mondays and Fridays in New OPD complex
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