Studies have shown that hepatitis C is on the rise in Nepal due to drug abuse. A survey by the National Center for AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control (NCASC) in 2020 found that 28 out of every 37 people infected with HIV were infected with Hepatitis-C.
A survey conducted in all 7 provinces has shown that HIV infection through drug abuse is increasing by 2.8 percent annually in Nepal. The survey also showed that most of them have been infected through needle exchange. Hepatitis B and C infections are on the rise along with HIV in Nepal.
The rate of Hepatitis-C infection has increased by 26 percent after HIV in five years. “The medicine for Hepatitis C is very rare. Besides this, the increment of this disease at such rate is a great challenge for Nepal”, said a public health expert, Sameer Mani Dixit explains. Although the government has provided free medicine and treatment for HIV-infected people, no treatment for hepatitis C has been launched so far.
Starting treatment for hepatitis C from three hospitals in Nepal
The National Center for AIDS and Sexually Transmitted Diseases Control (NCASC), in collaboration with the World Health Organization, will begin treatment for hepatitis C. The organization currently provides medicines to up to 100 people who are being treated for both HIV and hepatitis C, said Sudha Devkota, director of the center.
Devkota said, “At present, treatment services will be started from Bir Hospital, Tribhuvan Teaching Hospital and Shukraraj Tropical and Communicable Diseases Hospital, Teku, Kathmandu and will be gradually expanded”.