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Kokernag hepatitis: J&K govt approaches centre for assistance
SRINAGAR, Jan 31: The state government has approached union health ministry to provide expert assistance to deal with the situation arisen in the backdrop of increasing cases of Hepatitis B and C in villages of Magam and Sonambrari of district Anantnag.

Chairing a meeting of the health department functionaries convened to review the measures to contain the disease, the minister for Haj, Aquaf and Floriculture Peerzada Mohammad Sayeed and Minister of State for Health Shabir Ahmad Khan, said that the government has written to the union health minister, Ghulam Nabi Azad for extending help to contain the spread of the disease in the area.

“In a communiqué, I have already taken up the matter with the Union Minister for Health and Family Welfare Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad for appropriate assistance,” he maintained.

Director, Health Services, Kashmir Dr Salee-ur-Rehman briefed the ministers about the measures being taken to control the dreaded disease. He said that 1200 persons of the area were examined of which 300 cases were found positive, adding that more samples have been collected for investigation.

The meeting was informed that a team of doctors from health department and Sher-i-Kashmir Institute of Medical Sciences, Soura has been deployed for diagnosing the cases and investigate the reasons of spread of disease in the area.

Meanwhile, health authorities have confirmed the spread of silent epidemic HCV at a fast pace in Takya Magam area of Kokernag with 35 percent samples out of 1400 having tested positive.

Worried about the spread of the silent epidemic, HCV in Takya Magam village of Kokernag, the health department has approached the centre for assistance to control the terrible illness. Meanwhile, a team of experts from national center for disease control (NCDC) is visiting the area tomorrow to take stock of the situation.

Director, Health Services Kashmir, Dr Saleem-ul-Rehman said that out of 1400 hundred samples taken by the health department and 50 samples taken by the SKIMS from the area for testing 35 percent have been tested positive.

“Our team of doctors are camping in the area for last one week to take continuous stock of the situation. We are trying to deal with the situation on war footing basis,” director said.

He said that they have written to the union ministry of health and NCDC for their assistance to control the epidemic. “A team of experts from NCDC is arriving here tomorrow which will later visit the area to take stock of the situation there. We are trying to deal with the situation on scientific grounds,” director said.

On what measures have been taken to prevent the secondary infection and to treat the infected persons, director said, “Tracking the people who spread the infection and to find out the reasons for the spread of the epidemic so fast will be our priority. Treatment to the infected people is secondary.”

Terming the epidemic as unprecedented, he said, “The epidemic is more than a decade old and many people before had kept it under the carpet. It is a big challenge and we are trying to deal with it scientifically,” he said.

News Updated at : Friday, February 1, 2013
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