15 million Pakistanis are affected with Hepatitis B & C

At an event, jointly organized by Pakistan’s Ministry of Health Services, Regulations and Coordination (NHSRC), the Aga Khan University and the World Health Organization (WHO), on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day 2019 global campaign, it was announced that 5 and 10 million people are affected with hepatitis B and C respectively.

Further, “thousands of new patients are added every year due to lack of prevention, testing and treatment resources as well as inadequately screened blood transfusion, improperly sterilized invasive medical devices and unsafe injections. Unnecessary injections are widespread and shockingly high numbers of untrained healthcare professionals are delivering such injections to unsuspecting people in Pakistan.”

According to a new study released by WHO “investing in eliminating hepatitis can bring cost savings, because instead of paying for long-term care required for liver cirrhosis and cancer, people would access hepatitis testing, treatment or cure while they are healthy.”

According to an ambitious plan the government hopes to eliminate viral hepatitis B and C infections in the country by 2030 by “scaling up hepatitis prevention, testing and treatment services. In support of the Prime Minister’s initiative, NHSRC also announced new national plans for injection safety, safe blood transfusion, and national infection control guidelines. The implementation will be overseen by the newly created National Task Force of the Ministry.”

Author: K.M. Rizvi

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Author: K.M. Rizvi