RAWALPINDI: The District Health Authority has detected 418 patients suffering from Hepatitis-B and C since August 1.

The authority had launched a hepatitis free programme in Rawalpindi district in collaboration with the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination, with an aim to create awareness among public about the deadly virus as well as find the volume which was to be investigated to prevent it as well as develop the best course of action to contain its spread.

Director Health Dr Anser Ishaq told Dawn that in the last 26 days, 99 patients of Hepatitis-B and319 of Hepatitis-C were detected and 2,679 patients were vaccinated against Hepatitis-B.

He said after a patient tested positive, the person’s treatment immediately commenced free of cost, which continued for the next three months.

“We will provide vaccination and other medicines in consultation with senior medical practitioners without any charges,” the director health said, adding that the programme was initially launched in Khayaban-i-Sir Syed and extended to other union councils on August 1.He said 20 teams had been trained for the campaign.

“Teams will provide the second dose of vaccination to patients suffering from Hepatitis-C from Monday while liver function test will be conducted of all patients to check the condition of their livers so further treatment could be started,” he said.

Dr Ishaq said they had obtained blood samples of all people willing to get themselves tested during door-to-door visits conducted by the teams, adding that reports were delivered to all positive patients at their given addresses. An estimated five million people in Pakistan are infected by Hepatitis-B and 10 million by Hepatitis-C, making it the second most affected country in the world in terms of viral hepatitis prevalence.

The briefing further stated that thousands of new cases were added every year due to lack of resources for prevention, testing and treatment of the virus.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2023

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