Hepatitis patients deprived of free medicines in Shopian

Hepatitis patients deprived of free medicines in Shopian
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Many unable to afford costly treatment

SHOPIAN: Despite promises by the Health department, the patients suffiering from Hepatitis B and C in Shopian district have not been provided free medicines.
Over 600 people have been detected with the infection in the Vehil belt of the district, and many of them unable to buy the costly medicines form the market.
The patients, Kashmir Reader talked to, lamented that they have been abandoned by the government.
“They told us free medicines will be given to us but till date neither we saw them nor the medicines,” a patient from Shamsipora said.
The 600 patients detected were residents of 32 different villages in the Vehil belt, which has been worst hit with the disease.
Another patient said that he was hardly able to meet the two ends for the family.
“The disease has taken toll on education of my children because I am not now able to avail their costly books and fee,” he said while pressing for free distribution of medicines among the patients.
A Health official told Kashmir Reader said that they were shocked to see the denial of medical assistances to the patients.
“Department has ample funds, despite that they don’t send the medicines or approval of funds for the patients suffering,” he said while wishing not to be named.
“The confirmed number of cases is 600; 482 with hepatitis C which costs them Rs 40,000 for four months of medicine course and 118 are suffering B category of diseases which cost patient Rs 2000 per month and those suffering with hepatitis have to go for life long medication,” another official said.
Secretary health, Pawan Kotwal could not be reached despite repeated attempts.
In charge Director Health Services Kashmir, Atal Duloo told Kashmir Reader that he will look into the matter.
“As for as my knowledge is concerned we are giving them medicines but I will verify from the officials,” he said adding that needful will be done after verifying it.