Hepatitis vaccination in phases after Eid

Karachi:  Hepatitis Prevention & Control Programme (Chief Minister Initiatives) administration has planned to launch hepatitis vaccination and awareness sessions across the Sindh province in phases after Eid-ul-Fitr.

Talking to PPI, Provincial Manager, Hepatitis Prevention & Control Programme (Chief Minister Initiatives), Dr Zahoor Baloch said the monitoring officers of program will hold camps in different districts of province in phases after Eid-ul-Fitr where the people would be vaccinated and educated about the diseases. He informed that the major focus of hepatitis program to create awareness among general public under theme “prevention is better than cure”.

He informed that over 7300,000 people had been vaccinated since the inception of Hepatitis Programme in 2009 throughout the province. He said a total 175,000 hepatitis (B+C+D) patients had been registered by Hepatitis Programme since 2009 out of which significant number patients have completed their vaccination course, while thousands of patients with hepatitis still are under treatment in different centers being run by Hepatitis Programme.

To a question regarding the World Hepatitis Day preparations, Zahoor Baloch said World Hepatitis Day would be observed on 28 July 2014, so that the administration has divided the hepatitis awareness events in different categories like awareness rallies, seminars and media campaigns in different small and big cities of the province in order to convey message to public at maximum level.

He further informed that 20,000 new hepatitis cases have been reported since January 2014 from different districts of province so far. He said there are 55 centers running in province under Hepatitis Prevention & Control Programme providing screening, vaccination, treatment and preventive educations facilities to patients with hepatitis, while 25 others centers engaged in screening and preventive measurement work.

He said prevalence of hepatitis C is high in the province as compared other hepatitis-related diseases. He informed that hepatitis is an infectious disease affecting primarily the liver caused by the hepatitis C virus. He said virus is spread primarily by blood-to-blood contact associated with intravenous drug use, poorly sterilized medical equipment, and transfusions.

He said there was no proper vaccination available for hepatitis C in markets so that precautionary measures were necessary to prevent from disease. He advised the people to follow the instruction of experts and adopt preventatives strategies to avoid hepatitis diseases.

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