Punjab first state to introduce injection safety programme

At the World Hepatitis Day 2017 event, organized by the Department of Health and Family Welfare, Government of Punjab, the state Action Plan on Injection Safety was launched by Mr Brahm Mohindra, Health Minister, Government of Punjab at Chandigarh on 28 July 2017.

The one year progress report on Punjab’s Hepatitis C treatment initiative was also released on the occasion.

WHO has provided technical support for both, the hepatitis C treatment and injection safety project.

The other key dignitaries present at the event were Dr Rajiv Bhalla, Director Health Services, Government of Punjab; Dr R. K. Dhiman, Professor of Hepatology, PGIMER, Chandigarh; Dr Sujata Sharma, Director Medical Education and Research, Government of Punjab. Dr Prakin Suchaxaya, Coordinator- Health Programmes, represented WHO Country Office for India at the event.

This State Action Plan details key activities to be jointly undertaken by WHO Country Office for India and Government of Punjab as part of WHO’s Injection safety Implementation Project in state of Punjab.

The injection safety project aims to support policy process for adoption of re-use prevention (RUP) syringes in therapeutic care in both, public and private sector; increase awareness about rational use of injections, capacity building of healthcare providers, improve health care waste management practices and step-up overall attention on the quality and safety of healthcare.

India is amongst three countries globally where this project is being implemented, other two being Egypt and Uganda.

“The hepatitis C treatment initiative, being implemented under the Mukh Mantri Punjab Hepatitis-C Relief Fund, offers free treatment to all residents of Punjab, who are diagnosed with hepatitis C infection and have detectable virus. The treatment is being offered through a decentralized network of over 22 district hospitals and 3 government medical colleges.

The state government was appreciative of the technical support provided by WHO Country Office for India.