Pakistan chooses to ignore hepatitis this year
World Hepatitis Day, which is observed annually on July 28th, went unnoticed in Pakistan. Approximately 10.2 million people are infected with Hepatitis in Pakistan of which the prevalence of Hepatitis C virus is the highest.
Four districts of Sindh – Ghotki, Khairpur, Sanghar and Dadu – are greatly affected by hepatitis and more at risk as they have the most patients for this disease.
Approximately 10.2 million patients are infected with hepatitis in Pakistan whereas around 3.1 million people are infected with hepatitis in Sindh alone.
Hepatitis virus is spreading rapidly all around the world including Pakistan. Globally, 40 million individuals are infected with hepatitis virus. A quarter of those individuals with hepatitis B and C are in Pakistan.
Hepatitis A and E are transmitted through contaminated food and water. Hepatitis B is transmitted through blood and bodily fluids such as saliva. Hepatitis C is transmitted mainly through blood and Hepatitis D can sometimes show up in addition to Hepatitis B.
According to Provincial Manager of Hepatitis Control Program, Dr Abdul Khaliq Sheikh, patients affected by hepatitis in Karachi itself are 3.1 million. Patients infected with Hepatitis B are 1.1 million and 2 million are infected with Hepatitis C.
Due to poor access of medicine to cure hepatitis in Pakistan, approximately 3,000 people die daily.
Postgraduate Medical Institute’s Prof Dr Ghiasun Nabi Tayab said that Pakistan can only reduce the harm of hepatitis through awareness and services to improve vaccination.