Healthcare Radius – August 2019

(Kiana) #1



He added injection safety is another key
issue especially with respect to informal
service providers – we therefore need prac-
tical solutions – convergence among various
government progammes is also essential.
Lastly, there needs to be a mechanism so
that stakeholders come together more of-
ten share ideas, best practice models along
with greater engagement to tap the capaci-
ties of the private sector.”
Dr Sanjay Sarin, head, FIND India, said,
“Over the last few years, there has been a
significant transformation in Hepatitis C
treatment with the availability of all oral,
potent and well tolerated DAAs which
has made it possible to achieve treatment
cure rates of >90%. Access to accurate,
rapid and inexpensive HCV diagnostics,
however still remains a challenge Through
the Delhi Model under Project Head-Start,
we are providing access to HCV screening,
diagnosis and treatment through an inno-
vative decentralised model to the general
The different sessions of the conference
focused on the interventions of the Na-
tional Viral Hepatitis Control Programme
(NVHCP), defining targets for public health
initiatives and laboratory diagnosis of HCV.

A special session was devoted to innova-
tions in viral Hepatitis testing and linkages
to care.
Dr Sujeet Kumar Singh, director, National
Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), said,
“NCDC has been spearheading the surveil-
lance of viral hepatitis in India since two
decades. In recent years, a positive change
has taken place due to the sincere efforts
of FIND, which has been instrumental in
enabling the launch of the National Viral
Hepatitis Control Programme in India.
Currently, we have the lab capacity to as-
sist diagnosis of Hepatitis C and B and are
working to link the community directly
to treatment centres. We are collaborat-
ing with NACO, international and national
agencies in this area and the states Punjab
Manipur and Delhi can serve as models so
that other states can adopt them. These
efforts through raising awareness through
right interventions will lead to reduction in
the disease burden,”
The Hepatitis C Elimination through Ac-
cess to Diagnostics (HEAD-Start) project is
supported by Unitaid. It builds on earlier
work supported by the government of
the Netherlands, and UK aid from the UK
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