12 million people infected from hepatitis B & C

Peshawar: In Pakistan, the prevalence of Hepatitis B stands at 2.6 per cent, while that of Hepatitis C at 4.8 per cent. Currently, there are 12 million people infected with the disease in the country. The main reasons for the spread of hepatitis are frequent use of therapeutic injections, re-use of syringes, blood transfusions with un screened blood, inappropriate sterilization practices and weak hospital waste management.

Associate Professor of Medicine at LRH, Peshawar Dr. Javed Iqbal Farooqi and Chairman Association of Pakistani Physicians of North America (APPNA) Hepatitis Initiatives Dr. Maqbool Arshad expressed these views while speaking to the one day symposium on “Hepatitis Epidemic and Control Strategy in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa” held in PC Hotel, Peshawar.

KMU organized this symposium in joint collaboration with Department of Health KP and APPNA with main objective of creating awareness about treatment and prevention of hepatitis. Mr. Shaukat Ali Yousafzai Minister for Health KP was the chief guest at the occasion while Prof. Dr. Shad Mohammad acting VC KMU, Dr. Fakhar e Alam Secratery Health KP, Prof.
Dr. Mukhtiar Zaman Director Research KMU and Ex Federal Minister and central
leader of PTI Mr. Azam Khan Swati also spoke to the symposium.

The speakers said that the spread of hepatitis could easily be checked by creating awareness among public on large scale. Talking on causes of spread of hepatitis B & C, the speakers
said use of used syringes, unsafe sexual relations, unscreened blood transfusions, shaving with contaminated razor, tattooing, contaminated instruments of footpath dentists, unsafe intravenous infusions, wastes in hospital’s wards and improper blood sample collection are among major factors contributing to spread of the disease. By adopting simple preventive measures,
we can control the spread of the disease, they added. Earlier while talking to the symposium as chief guest Mr. Shaukat Ali Yousafzai Minister of Health Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, said awareness among general public can reduce the burden of hepatitis on the society. Govt. of KP is committed to adopt all possible measures to curb the menace of hepatitis from the province.

He said proper legislation is in pipeline to reduce and control all the risk factors of hepatitis, besides it Provincial Govt is trying its best to provide free treatment facilities to the hepatitis patients on priority and emergency basis. He said education and health sectors are the two top most priorities of the present government and all necessary steps would be carried out to provide health and education facilities to the people of the province.

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