RAWALPINDI: The Rawalpindi District Health Authority has detected a total of 863 patients with hepatitis-B and C in the last two months during the screening of the citizens under the Local Hepatitis Elimination and Prevention Programme (LHEAP).
The programme was launched in Rawalpindi district by the health authority in collaboration with the Coalition for Global Hepatitis Elimination with the aim of creating awareness among the public about this deadly virus as well as finding the volume that needs to be investigated in order to prevent it and develop the best course of action to contain its spread in the future.
Head of LHEAP Dr Anser Ishaq told Dawn that since July 10, they had screened a total of 29,000 people and detected 704 patients with hepatitis-C and 159 patients with hepatitis-B. He said 16,928 people had been completely vaccinated against the disease whereas 11,092 had got their first dose against hepatitis B.
Dr Ishaq said the free treatment of the positive patients had been started and two days [Tuesday and Wednesday] would be fixed for pathological tests of the hepatitis patients. Under the programme, he said, the patients were being provided medication free of cost.
He said the programme had been initially launched in Khayaban-i-Sir Syed and it started in other union councils on August 1. He said 20 teams had been constituted for the drive.
“Hepatitis testing is being offered door-to-door to the residents and vaccination and treatment are offered without any charges. This programme will be effective as still many people who tested positive for hepatitis are unaware of their disease,” he said, adding that special care was provided to the expecting mothers.
Dr Ishaq said, “Initially, the response of the people was not good enough, but gradually, we launched awareness campaigns to inform the local community about the programme and now the community response is welcoming.”
Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2023