Kohima, July 26: Marking the observance World Hepatitis Day on the theme “Invest in eliminating Hepatitis”, Nagaland Government Friday rolled out Hepatitis C Treatment at Model Treatment Centre, Naga Hospital Authority Kohima (NHAK) here.
Minister for Health and Family Welfare, S Pangnyu Phom official launched the treatment centre and also rolled out the Hep-C treatment in presence of medical officers.
Viral Hepatitis is now being recognized as a major public health problem in India, he said, adding that launching National Viral Hepatitis Control Program under the National Health Mission (NHM) marks the beginning of India’s initiative towards eliminating the diseases as a public health threat.
The key strategies adopted under the programme include preventive interventions with focus on generating awareness, promoting diagnosis and providing management of viral hepatitis to all in need, the Minister said.
“With the roll out of Hepatitis C treatment, we are looking into the need to ensure that Hepatitis testing and treatment plans with dedicated funding and investment,” he said.
Initially the focus was to provide treatment for Viral Hepatitis C along with various other preventives aspects like awareness generation, safe blood and blood products, injection safety and infection control, he said while also announcing that lifelong treatment for Hepatitis B will also be provided under the Program very soon.
Pangyu also called upon all to work towards reducing morbidity and mortality due to viral hepatitis and achieve the goal of ending viral hepatitis as a public health by 2030 in the country.
Meanwhile, taking the opportunity, the Minister also expressed happiness that the doctors in the State are now coming forward to serve in the rural area due to the successful implementation of the Nagaland Health Service Rule 2017. In this, he also urged upon all to uphold the spirit so that no one is left out of the healthcare delivery system, especially those in the rural area.
Further, Pangnyu asserted that the PDA government under the leadership of Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio is dedicated to sincerely implement the centrally sponsored schemes in the State.
“We are working on war footing to complete the Nagaland Medical College and now the work is progressing impressively,” he said, while calling upon all the citizens of the State to extend cooperation and support to make all the health program a success.
Delivering the keynote address, State Nodal Officer, National Viral Hepatitis Control Program (NVHCP) Nagaland, Dr Vezokholü Theyo said Viral hepatitis is one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year.
She said that the disease is truly global epidemic that can affect millions of people without them even being aware.
She said that with the availability of vaccines and treatments for hepatitis B and cure for hepatitis C, the elimination of viral hepatitis is achievable.
Nonetheless, she stressed on the need for greater awareness and understanding of the disease.
World Hepatitis Day presents and ideal opportunity to join together and raise the profile of viral hepatitis among the public while also call for a political will to achieve the target of eliminating the disease.
President of NNagaDAO, Abou Mere while lauding the efforts of the department in rolling out treatment also requested the government to bring in line departments to create better understanding.
He also suggested that the IEC materials be printed in the local context to reach out to the grassroots.
“Treatment has been rolled out but prevention has to be given top priority for early diagnosis and treatment so that no new infections occurs”, Mere said.
On the occasion, Microbiologist NHAK, Dr Margaret Yhome made presentation on laboratory diagnosis of NVHCP while Medicine Specialist, Dr Imtisunep Jamir dwelled on treatment services for NVHCP.
Managing Director of NHAK Dr Thorhusie Katiry chaired the programme while Mission Director NHM Nagaland Dr Neikhrielie Khimiao delivered the welcome address and State Program Officer, NHM, Dr Thanghoi Lam tendered the vote of thanks. (Page News Service)