Sanjay Gandhi Postgraduate Institute of Medical Sciences (SGPIMS) will provide free DNA tests for hepatitis B and RNA tests for hepatitis C.
The cost of these tests would be paid by the state government through the national viral hepatitis control program. Patients willing to use these services need to register themselves for hepatology OPD on Monday and Friday.
While announcing this on Tuesday at the formal launch of the viral hepatitis treatment, officials revealed that the Indian government has pledged to achieve countrywide elimination of Hepatitis C by 2030.
Take note that hepatitis C is a liver disease that is caused by the hepatitis C virus. Hepatitis C is transmitted through exposure to infected blood in cases of blood transfusion, use of infected blood and blood products, use of contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use. There is no vaccine to save individuals from the hepatitis C virus.
According to values from the Union Health Ministry, over 1.32 crore Indians are carrying the hepatitis C virus infection. Among those 1.32 crore, nearly 10 lakhs are in UP.
Speaking at the event, Prof. R. K. Dhiman, Director of SGPGI, expressed his happiness over this initiative taken by the department and hoped that patients suffering from hepatitis B and C would benefit from free investigations and treatment facilities under this program.
Until now, King George’s Medical University was the only center in the city to extend the facility. There are seven such centers in UP and 75 in India.
A free test would translate into saving Rs. 3500–3800, which was charged to the patient by the institute. The charge is less than 25% of what one has to pay for the same test in the open market.
The bigger issue is that the outcomes of the same tests in the private sector are characterized by doubt, which affects treatment. The crucial reasons behind this include transportation issues, quality of reagents, and skipping confirmatory and verification stages.
(Input from various sources)