Health minister urges inclusion of Hep C treatment in NACP


IMPHAL, June 5: State Health minister Phungzathang Tonsing today urged the officials concerned of the department of AIDS Control to devise a strategy for the inclusion of Hepatitis C treatment program in the National AIDS control program.

The Health minister was speaking at the closing function, of Northeast Conclave at the conference hall of the Classic Hotel. The three day conclave was organised by the Manipur State AIDS Control Society in collaboration with the Department of AIDS Control.

Minister Phungzathang Tonsing said that Viral Load Testing facilities are provided in the State capital now and routine testing of People Living With HIV/AIDS is being conducted free of cost in every government health institute.

He also said everyone is aware that the HIV/AIDS situation in the State is at an alarming stage, although Manipur has a small population which accounts just 0.2 percent of the country’s total population.

Elaborating further on the subject, he said around 90 percent of the State’s population is aware of HIV/AIDS, its routes of transmission and preventive measures.

The most common mode of HIV transmission in the State is through sharing of needles among injecting drug users, which everyone is already aware of, he commented.

However, the epidemic has also penetrated into the general population through the sexual route of transmission, resulting in the increase of HIV infection among women and children, the minister expressed.

The first case of HIV infection in the State was reported in the year 1990 and till March 2014, there are 44624 HIV positive cases, of which 12693 are women and 2944 are children, he said.

The state government has been actively involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS by joining hands with various NGOs, he said.

He also said that the state health department and the state AIDS Control Society have been providing free treatment and taking proper care of the people living with HIV/AIDS in some government hospitals.

Several NGOs have also contributed their valuable services to the State government in these regards, he continued.

He also said that it is very unfortunate that the epidemic of HIV/AIDS is affecting the youth of the society in every nook and corner of the State and the increasing number of People Living with HIV/AIDS and those who have died due to the Hepatitis-C co Infection of HIV AIDS is alarming in Churachanpur district, he said.

Today’s closing function was also attended by joint secretary Department of AIDS Control, Government of India, KB Agarwal as the president.

UNAIDS Country Coordinator in India, Oussama Tawil, deputy director general (TI) department of AIDS control, Dr Neeraj Dhingra, CDC, Dr V Sampath Kumar were also present as the guests of honour.



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