Dr. Madhumita Premkumar
Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India
Our team has successfully treated over 55,000 patients with hepatitis C. The Punjab Model is so successful that it has been accepted and replicated all across India.
The state of Punjab uses a decentralized, algorithm based comprehensive care approach to HCV. The process involves training, continuing medical education and tele-mentoring of primary care physicians so that they can offer specialized care for patients with HCV. The state government has recognized the importance, cost effectiveness and feasibility of using oral direct acting antiviral agents (DAAs) to eliminate HCV as a public health burden. The drugs are available free of charge at a local health care center, ensuring timely, socially acceptable and specialized care, even in rural areas. Our team has successfully treated over 55,000 patients with viremic chronic hepatitis C with cure rates of 91.6%. We have also targeted special groups like adolescents, persons who inject drugs, dialysis patients and incarcerated individuals. The adoption of safe injection practices and re-use prevention syringes has been a focus of the programme. The Punjab Model is so successful that it has been accepted and replicated all across India as the National Viral Hepatitis Control Programme. India's HCV Elimination Programme was launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India on the occasion of the World Hepatitis Day, 28th July 2018.