Free services for testing and treatment of Hepatitis C and TB in Islamabad slums to start: Health Minister, Kiani
Islamabad, March 02, 2019 (PPI-OT): Federal Minister of National Health Services Aamer Mehmood Kiani inaugurated a Model Centre for Infectious Diseases at G-7/3 Dispensary Islamabad. On this occasion Federal Health Minister said that government of Pakistan is revamping all health services in Islamabad to convert it in a Model City. It will be a model center dedicated for the screening, testing and treatment of hepatitis C patients with integration of other infectious diseases like Tuberculosis (TB). “In this project we will start from screening from underserved communities of ICT. The teams will go door to door in slum communities to screen high risk individuals.
Those found positive will be referred to this center for confirmation of the disease and its treatment”, said Minister while inaugurating the centre. Minister further said that to curb disease burden of hepatitis C, we are implementing Hepatitis Prevention and Control Project for ICT with incorporation of TB. The hepatitis C patients will be cured with three months’ oral tablets treatment with no side effects. Hepatitis B vaccine will also be given to the patients undergoing hepatitis C treatment. All the testing, treatment and hepatitis B vaccination will be done free of cost.
Our dedicated staff will ensure the follow up of the patients in the community to maximize the treatment compliance and response. While speaking to media Minister further elaborated the operations of the Centre, he expressed that we will carry out a vigorous awareness campaign in these communities using the innovative modes of communications to raise awareness for health seeking behaviours, precautionary measurements and information about the Centre.
The purpose is to sensitize masses in an effective and proficient manner rather to use conventional modes of communication. Pakistan has the second highest disease burden of hepatitis C in the world. Almost 10 million people are affected with hepatitis C in Pakistan. Inadequately screened blood transfusions; inappropriately sterilized medical/surgical/dental/gynecological instruments; sharing razors, shaving blades and toothbrushes are the most significant risk factors for the transmission of the hepatitis C in our country. If left untreated many people will develop life threatening complications including liver cancer.
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