15m suffering from hepatitis BC in Pakistan: moot told

KARACHI: There are about 15 million people suffering from hepatitis B and C in Pakistan.

This was stated by Prof Adib Rizvi, Director SIUT, while speaking on the prevalence of hepatitis C, which is around 4.8% and that of hepatitis B, which is nearly around 2.5%, in Pakistan. He stressed that a comprehensive efforts by the government is urgently required if we are to prevent millions of new infections and shocking death toll.

Dr Zaigham Abbass, Department of Gastroenterology, SIUT gave a presentation on the mode of spread of viral hepatitis. Viral hepatitis refers to group of diseases caused by infection from one of the five viruses – Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E. Hepatitis A and E are spread by oral fecal route while B and C are spread by blood. The usual mode of transmission of hepatitis B and C in Pakistanis is high rate of getting treatment by injections and drips. The equipments are not properly sterilized and reuse of syringes by quakes is also a major issue.

Justice R Rana Bhagwan Das was guest of honour while Faisal Edhi of EDHI foundation also addressed this occasion. They stressed on the need to involve the community by raising awareness, promoting partnership and mobilizing resources.

Dr Saeed Hamid from Department of Medicine Aga Khan University said that although there are vaccines for Hepatitis B and a new treatment for chronic Hepatitis C is also available that would save millions of life but, none of these would matter, if government failed to tackle viral hepatitis in more comprehensive way.

“The government of Sindh is making effort to deal with this problem by implementing Hepatitis control Program ” stated by Dr Ayaz Ali Memon, Project Manager of Hepatitis Prevention and control program Sindh.

The theme of World Hepatitis Day was SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL. The message imparted from the theme is that hepatitis is being ignored around the world and there is need for change. On this occasion Dr Farina Hanif, SIUT explained the theme of World Hepatitis Day SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL. She said “it refers to those who deal with the problem by refusing to acknowledge them. This theme was chosen for world record to highlight that around the world, hepatitis is being ignored.

SIUT participated in an attempt to break the world record. Around 200 people gathered on DFMC roof top and joined the global effort to spread the hepatitis awareness by performing the SEE NO EVIL, HEAR NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL act. The event was started by the recitation of Holy Quran by Dr Nasir Hassan Luck, SIUT who also moderated the event. The event was led by Dr Syed Mujahid Hassan, SIUT.