A village in Pahalgam lives in dread of hepatitis C as 150 more people test positive

The village of Wularhama, in Pahalgam, sits on the Bijbehara-Pahalgam road where complaints of illnesses related to hepatitis C had grown to an alarming level in recent times.

Khalid Gul
Anantnag, Publish Date: Sep 19 2018 11:24PM | Updated Date: Sep 20 2018 2:27AM
A village in Pahalgam lives in dread of hepatitis C as 150 more people test positiveRepresentational Image

At least 150 people in a remote village of Pahalgam have tested positive for hepatitis C in what has set alarm bells ringing in the health department that if measures are not taken to stop the spread of the infection, it could transmit to areas beyond the village.

The village of Wularhama, in Pahalgam, sits on the Bijbehara-Pahalgam road where complaints of illnesses related to hepatitis C had grown to an alarming level in recent times.

A screening test was carried in the village and health authorities were shocked by the number of people who tested positive for the infection. “As of now we have screened 1673 people in the village out of which 153 have tested positive,” said Chief medical officer, Anantnag Dr Fazil Kochak. He said that the screening will continue. “After this EISA test would be done so as to treat patients on priority basis,” said the CMO.

He appealed to the people not to panic and instead adopt hygienic health practices. Several members of the same family have tested positive. “My wife and me both have tested positive for infection,” said one of the villagers.

He said that he was very poor and cannot afford treatment. “Three of us in our family including me, my wife and child have tested positive. I don’t know what to do now,” said a visibly upset middle aged man. The infection is also spreading to nearby villages of Anantnag town. At least 15 people have tested positive in the twin villages of Batengoo and Urahanhall, barely few kilometres from the town.

“170 people were screened there out of which 15 tested positive for Hepatitis c, 6 for Hepatise B and,” said the CMO.

Over time, untreated hepatitis C can cause hardening and scarring (cirrhosis) in the liver, which slows down blood flow through this large organ — a process that's crucial for processing both nutrients and toxins, among other things.

Greater Kashmir ran a series of stories on the spread of the infection that had gripped several villages in Kokernag in the year 2013 after which health authorities conducted mass screening there. More than 2000 people had tested positive in four villages of Takia -Magam, Sonbarie, Sagam and Zalangam alone. With the infection almost endemic in the area at least 15 lives were consumed by the silent killer in the first two villages alone.

Later, acting on GK reports about poor patients being unable to bear expenses of treatment a supply order was issued by the Medical Supplies Corporation and drugs worth Rs 2.5 crore were purchased and affected people were given the treatment.

However, the much awaited grant of Rs 7.50 crore approved by the state cabinet in 2014 to provide necessary treatment to Hepatitis-C affected people in Magam and Sonabarie villages was never released leaving many patients in the lurch.

Further, in the absence of remedial measures more cases came to the fore in many areas of valley – Shopian, Srinagar - and the infection kept on spreading. Noted gastroenterologist Dr MS Khuroo after his visit to the Kokernag villages few years back had declared the infection as epidemic.

He had warned that if the authorities did not wake up, the situation could worsen in years to come. The Health experts have also declared the infection as decades-old transmitted by some specific source.

“As the mode of transmission is same as HIV and as such, besides necessary treatment of the already infected, educating and creating awareness among the people is equally important to prevent the further spread of this silent disease,” said a medico.

He, however, said that the health authorities have been sleeping over the issue.

“Neither any awareness program is being initiated nor there has been any check on the unhygienic dental and medical practitioners operating in the areas were infection is spreading fast,” he said adding barely conducting IEC activities won’t do.

“There is no check on chemists particularly in rural areas.” As per public health experts every patient needs close monitoring during the treatment and the cost may go up to Rs 2 lakh.

Latest News

  1. Pakistan will continue to lend full support to people of Kashmir: Imran Khan
  2. Pakistan will continue to lend full support to people of Kashmir: Imran Khan
  1. Schools found operating during winter vacations to face action: DSEK
  2. Schools found operating during winter vacations to face action: DSEK
  1. Govt ready to deal with any weather eventuality: Div Com
  2. Govt ready to deal with any weather eventuality: Div Com
  1. An MLA was told to be part of govt or prepare for arrest by NIA: Omar Abdullah on horse-trading
  2. An MLA was told to be part of govt or prepare for arrest by NIA: Omar Abdullah on horse-trading
  1. Disgruntled Muzaffar Baig holds meeting with Mehbooba Mufti
  2. Disgruntled Muzaffar Baig holds meeting with Mehbooba Mufti
  1. Vijay Mallya must be extradited: London court
  2. Vijay Mallya must be extradited: London court
  1. BJP built tallest statue of Patel, but could not construct Ram temple: Omar Abdullah
  2. BJP built tallest statue of Patel, but could not construct Ram temple: Omar Abdullah
  1. RBI Governor Urjit Patel quits
  2. RBI Governor Urjit Patel quits
  1. Former MLA Tangmarg Abbas Wani resigns from PDP
  2. Former MLA Tangmarg Abbas Wani resigns from PDP
  1. Renowned historian and former Jamia Millia VC Mushirul Hasan passes away
  2. Renowned historian and former Jamia Millia VC Mushirul Hasan passes away
  1. JRL writes to UN chief, urges him to establish commission of inquiry into Kashmir rights abuses
  2. JRL writes to UN chief, urges him to establish commission of inquiry into Kashmir rights abuses
  1. Human Rights Day: Mirwaiz seeks help of world community to end Kashmir rights violations
  2. Human Rights Day: Mirwaiz seeks help of world community to end Kashmir rights violations
  1. On Human Rights Day, relatives of disappeared persons protest in Srinagar
  2. On Human Rights Day, relatives of disappeared persons protest in Srinagar
  1. India test fires Agni-V missile
  2. India test fires Agni-V missile
  1. Kushwaha quits NDA, resigns as Minister
  2. Kushwaha quits NDA, resigns as Minister
  1. Woman dies after falling from Ferris wheel at UP fair while clicking selfie
  2. Woman dies after falling from Ferris wheel at UP fair while clicking selfie
  1. Two drug peddlers arrested in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri
  2. Two drug peddlers arrested in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri
  1. Modi govt considers farmers as liability: Rahul Gandhi
  2. Modi govt considers farmers as liability: Rahul Gandhi
  1. JRL calls shutdown in poll-bound areas of Kashmir on Tuesday
  2. JRL calls shutdown in poll-bound areas of Kashmir on Tuesday
  1. BJP expels dissident leader after SC junks his plea against governor’s decision to dissolve JK legislative assembly
  2. BJP expels dissident leader after SC junks his plea against governor’s decision to dissolve JK legislative assembly
  1. Indian diplomat walks out of SAARC meeting in Pakistan over PaK minister's presence
  2. Indian diplomat walks out of SAARC meeting in Pakistan over PaK minister's presence
  1. UP woman locked inside home by son, dies of hunger: police
  2. UP woman locked inside home by son, dies of hunger: police
  1. Clashes erupt in Hajin after burial of slain teenage militants
  2. Clashes erupt in Hajin after burial of slain teenage militants
  1. Thousands attend funeral of slain teenage militants in north Kashmir’s Hajin
  2. Thousands attend funeral of slain teenage militants in north Kashmir’s Hajin
  1. SC dismisses former BJP legislator's plea challenging dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly
  2. SC dismisses former BJP legislator's plea challenging dissolution of Jammu and Kashmir Assembly
  1. India beat Australia by 31 runs in Adelaide Test
  2. India beat Australia by 31 runs in Adelaide Test
  1. Brexit deal: Theresa May faces fight for her political life on Tuesday
  2. Brexit deal: Theresa May faces fight for her political life on Tuesday
  1. Role of military limited, solution of Kashmir issue only through politics: Army commander
  2. Role of military limited, solution of Kashmir issue only through politics: Army commander
  1. Kashmir shuts on JRL call against human rights violations
  2. Kashmir shuts on JRL call against human rights violations
  1. Pakistan continues to harbour militants that turn around and kill American soldiers: Nikki Haley
  2. Pakistan continues to harbour militants that turn around and kill American soldiers: Nikki Haley
  1. 'I can't breathe', Jamal Khashoggi's last words at Saudi consulate
  2. 'I can't breathe', Jamal Khashoggi's last words at Saudi consulate
  1. Mughal road, Srinagar-Leh highway closed after fresh snowfall in Kashmir
  2. Mughal road, Srinagar-Leh highway closed after fresh snowfall in Kashmir
x
This site uses cookies to deliver our services and to show you relevant news and ads. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Service.That's Fine