Sikkim fails in treating patients with hepatitis C


In a press statement on Sunday, Hepatitis Coalition of Sikkim(HepCos) coordinator Prashant Sharma has stated that the health department has failed to provide services to tests and treat hepatitis in the state.
HepCos is a group of people living in Sikkim with hepatitis C. The group has been approaching the health department since march 2015 for free tests and free treatment programmes.
It has been claimed that there are high number of people living with the disease and that most of the the people in the state are not even aware of hepatitis C virus.
In the long drawn process of getting only assurances three people died in the year 2016, who were also the only bread earners in their families, the group said.
This has violated the very state obligation of right to health as enshrined in the constitution of India stated by the group.
The last approach by according to prashant sharma was on December 16. He claimed that the health secretary assured to give a concrete decision after 15 days regarding rolling out hepatitis C test and treatment in Sikkim.
Prashant Sharma claimed that following this a senior officer called him and verbally abused him and other drug users community by using inappropriate words, which led to creating a barrier between a highly seated officer and the already marginalised group.
The group has lodged a complaint against the health department and health secretary. They have sought a public apology and removal of the officials from gastroenterology department.
HepCos demands the state government to take ownership of the burden of Hepatitis C in Sikkim by making budgetary allotment to the health department and start providing treatment and all its related services for addressing this epidemic.

Sources: The Sikkim Express