Hepatitis-C survivor lives to help, gets 400 treated

Jaswinder Singh Baidwan

Akhran da mureed
Staff member
Satbir Saini (38), a vegetable vendor at Samalkha in Panipat, who got cured for Hepatitis-C at the Post-Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) is on a mission — to raise awareness about the disease and its treatment.
Saini, who comes from a BPL family, is committed to the eradication of Hepatitis-C. He gets health check-up camps organised at villages, distributes pamphlets containing information among villagers and accompanies patients to the Rohtak hospital to guide them.
Over the past three years, Saini has brought nearly 400 patients to PGIMS’ Department of Gastroenterology and got them treated. Saini’s wife Guddi (35) and their daughter Sushma (19) are also actively engaged in his mission.
Dr Parveen Malhotra, Head of the Department of Medical Gastroenterology, appreciates Saini’s efforts. “Satbir’s work is exemplary. Good Samaritans like him play an instrumental role in raising awareness about medical concerns and combating diseases.”
A few years ago, Saini tested positive for Hepatitis-C. Doctors advised him to get his family members screened for the disease. Subsequently, his wife also tested positive. Due to lack of awareness, the couple consulted private medical practitioners in Karnal and elsewhere, besides spending thousands of rupees on tests.
“Finally, we were told that the treatment would cost Rs 14 lakh, which we were not in a position to bear. I learnt about the state government-sponsored programme to curb Hepatitis-C at the Rohtak PGIMS and came here. My wife and I underwent treatment and got cured within a year,” Saini said.
Since then, he has been raising awareness about Hepatitis-C and escorting patients to the PGIMS. “My family asks me to focus on earning a livelihood, but I feel I have got a new lease of life and want to dedicate it to the service of those in need,” said Satbir.
A round-the-clock dedicated Hepatitis-C helpline (08950012900) is also being run by the department.