Hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infection among persons living with HIV, injecting drug users and their spouses has become a growing public health concern in Manipur considering the current rate of detection.
This information was shared by the officials and persons involved in dealing with the HCV issues during a day-long media sensitization workshop in Imphal on Saturday.
FIND India, a global non-profit in collaboration with YRGCARE, another NGO organised the workshop to facilitate a discussion around HCV issues in India particularly in Manipur.
Speaking on the occasion Joint Director Mongjam Abhiram of Manipur state AIDS control society said that the HCV transmission is getting higher in Manipur.
Highlighting the current scenario in Manipur, Abhiram said out of 7603 units of blood samples collected at state run JNIMS hospital(March 2018 to February 2019),HCV is detected among the 1.1 percent of the blood doners while HIV reduced to just 0.2 per cent. This indicates that HCV also needs to be prioritised besides HIV, the officer felt.
According to Ksh Basanta a functionary of YRGCARE in Manipur,
Regarding the FIND and YRGCARE sponsored project which targets to provides services to 4000 needy individuals in Imphal East and West and Churachandpur district, Ksh Basanta a functionary of YRGCARE in Manipur informed that so far 3106 blood samples (2439 in Imphal area and 667 in Churachandpur) were screened since the implementation of the project December last year.
Out of which 1866 (1468 in Imphal area and 398 in Churachandpur) turned out to be positive,he said claiming that so the treatment provided to 708 persons including 554 in Imphal area dna 163 in Churachandpur and around 205 (including 69 in Churachandpur) of them have completed their treatment.
It may be mentioned that the State health authority signed an understanding with YRGCARE in November 2017 and launched Project called Headstart of Viral Hepatitis-C free treatment on December 31 last year with treatment finally beginning from January this year.
The national viral hepatitis control program was framed and launched on July 28 last year following the country’s commitment at 69th world health assembly in the line with global commitment towards achieving sustainable development goal to combat hepatitis and achieve countrywide elimination of Hepatitis C by 2030.Earlier the treatment of HCV costs was very high in the past, according to experts. But it has been reduced to just 40 dollars per course these days.