World Hepatitis day observed in Pakistan

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KARACHI: Paramedics taking blood samples to test Hepatitis on the occasion of Universal Hepatitis Day, at a medical camp SIUT in Karachi

KARACHI, Jul 28: : World Hepatitis Day was observed on 28 July, 2015 throughout Pakistan at numerous medical organizations, hospitals, NGOs and in other institutions with aimed to raise global awareness about hepatitis B and C and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment.

These institutions included Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (Karachi), Khyber Medical College (Peshawar), King Edward Medical University (Lahore), Doctors hospital (Lahore), University of Health Sciences (Lahore), Chandka Medical College (Larkana)and numerous other medical colleges and allied hospitals throughout major cities in the four provinces.

Many of these awareness activities were facilitated and coordinated by Association of Physicians of Pakistani descent of North America (APPNA) Hepatitis C Initiative. The participants during the day organized rallies, held seminars, Hepatitis C screening camps, poster competitions, plays and other outreach activities.

The participants in the awareness activities stressed on prevention from Hepatitis B and C. Proper disinfection of surgical, dental and barber / beauty parlor instruments to stop the spread of infection. Use of bleach based and only effective disinfectants with proven efficacy for disinfection should be used and disinfection protocols should be strictly adhered to in all surgical, dental and other procedures. All blood and blood products and donors should be screened with proper and proven diagnostic kits and all records of such transfusions and kits used to be kept so that all malpractice cases are identified and prosecuted.

According to medical experts, there are approximately 500 million people worldwide who have either hepatitis B or C. If left untreated and unmanaged, hepatitis B or C can lead to advanced liver scarring (cirrhosis) and other complications, including liver cancer or liver failure.

“Hepatitis spread like AIDS, but it can be controlled by adopting preventive measures and running an awareness campaign”, said Doctor Maqbool Arshad, chair APPNA Hepatitis C Initiative.

There are at least 12-15 million people in Pakistan suffering with Hepatitis B and C and this number is increasing day by day. Majority of these people will die early with liver failure either due to infection of liver or cancer of liver.

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