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New Delhi : Union Health & Family Welfare Minister J P Nadda on July 28, 2018, launched the National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme to mark the World Hepatitis Day, 2018, here. “With this initiative, Government is strongly committed to work towards elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030,” stated Nadda.

He also released the Operational Guidelines for National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme, National Laboratory Guidelines for Viral Hepatitis Testing, and National Guidelines for Diagnosis and Management of Viral Hepatitis. Manoj Sinha, MoS (Independent Charge), Ministry of Communication, released the Commemorative Stamp on the occasion.

Ashwini Kumar Choubey and Anupriya Patel, Ministers of State for Health and Family Welfare along with Preeti Sudan, Secretary (Health),  Ananta Narayan Nanda, Secretary, Department of Posts, and Dr S Venkatesh, DGHS, were also present at the launch function.

Addressing the participants, Nadda said that under the guidance of PM Narendra Modi the Ministry is aggressively addressing the preventable diseases. He said that there has been a paradigm shift in designing the programme. “Programmes are now designed at the ground level and all stakeholders are taken into the consideration. We are now making sure that the last person gets the benefit out of it,” Nadda said, according to a PIB release.

Nadda further said that the Ministry has already launched a campaign to end TB by 2025, five years ahead of global target. He said that the Government now has more than 1,100 CBNAAT machines for rapid diagnosis of TB and provides daily regimen with fixed dose combinations. He further said that the programme has also initiated active case finding to screen more TB patients.

Nadda stated that the government has also launched the ‘Test and Treat Policy for HIV’ wherein as soon as a person is tested and found to be positive, he will be provided with ART irrespective of his CD count or clinical stage. He said that the government has also launched Rotavirus vaccine, Pneumococcal Conjugate Vaccine (PCV), and the Measles-Rubella (MR), Pneumonia vaccine and one thing that was remaining was Hepatitis and today with this launch we will be offering free drugs and diagnostics for hepatitis B & C. “This initiative will provide laboratory testing and management of viral hepatitis with a de-centralized approach,” Nadda said.

Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Choubey said that awareness is a very important component of the programme. As disease burden is very significant in India, this will help us find the disease carriers and towards their diagnosis and treatment. “This exemplifies India’s commitment to providing universal health coverage and meeting SDG targets for the country,”  Choubey said.

Speaking at the function, Manoj Sinha stated that the Department of Posts (DoP) has released several stamps to generate awareness about various programme of the Government.

Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Anupriya Patel stated that National Viral Control Programme marks the beginning of the nation’s journey to control viral hepatitis thereby reducing mortality and morbidity attributed to it.


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