Sindh Govt. has setup 63 treatment and 19 vaccine centers for providing free facility to the common people in the province.
Health Experts speaking in a seminar on World Hepatitis Day in a local hotel here at Hyderabad on Thursday July 28 laid stress on screening of hepatitis B and C to control the disease from spreading at large scale, as Pakistan has second highest prevalence rate of hepatitis in the world.
Addressing the seminar organized by Health Department under the Chief Minister’s Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program, Sindh for creating awareness about hepatitis B and C among common people, Dr. Zulfiqar Dharejo, In-charge Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program, presenting the current state of Hepatitis informed that Pakistan has second highest prevalence rate of hepatitis in the world. He said this year WHO raised slogan for common people “I cannot wait to get tested” and added that it was message for common people to get tested and if diagnosed Hepatitis get treated as soon as possible.
He said that as per Pakistan Medical Research Council one million people are victim of Hepatitis B and 2 million people are Hepatitis C. He said that keeping in view this alarming situation Sindh Government has been working on hepatitis program since 2009 and under this program 63 treatment and 19 vaccine centers are giving treatment to the common people free of cost.
He informed that under this program, Sindh Government has a target to eliminate this disease till 2030 and for that Sindh Government has been making all efforts to achieve the target.
Professor Dr. Bikha Ram said that prevention is a way to save oneself from this disease, and exhorted that it was high time to take this disease seriously and to organize awareness programs on war-footing basis so that people come to Hepatitis Centers for screening of hepatitis B and C.
He said that hepatitis in pregnant woman must be treated timely so that the disease may not be transmitted to child.
He further said that though the disease could be prevented and cured but people are still unaware of its treatment. “The prevention and vaccination is only the way to be saved from this deadly disease.”
He informed that 10 million population is already victim of this disease which is quite alarming, and said that we should work on WHO slogan of “Finding million missing“, which means to find those who are victim of this disease.
Divisional Commissioner Hyderabad Nadeem-ur-Rehman Memon in his address said that these awareness programs should be held on regular basis rather than only on World Hepatitis Day. He said that Hyderabad Divisional Administration is ready to collaborate with Sindh Health Department to organize such awareness campaigns in each district of the division to prevent this disease from spreading.
District Health Officer Hyderabad Lala Jafar Pathan said that screening is the only way to prevent this disease from spreading rapidly. He said that vaccination is free of cost and people should get themselves vaccinated to avoid this disease. He said that Lady Health Workers could play an important role for making people aware about hepatitis.
Earlier, an awareness walk from DG Health Office to Hotel Indus was also organized to mark the World Hepatitis Day. (PR)