Sindh Institute of Urology and Transplantation (SIUT) commemorated World Hepatitis Day 2018 with impressive programs. The current year’s theme for the day was ‘Eliminate Hepatitis’. People in general attended free medical camps and education session arranged to mark the occasion.
According to organizers, special arrangements were made to vaccinate people against strains of the disease that could be prevented through immunization. Experts were around to provide needed advice and guidance to the people while needed tests were also offered free of cost.
The event held particular relevance for the local population as incidence rate of waterborne hepatitis (A and D) as well as blood-borne (Hepatitis B and C) are increasingly registered among the people. The disease mainly a preventable health condition is commonly caused due to consumption of contaminated water and infected-blood.
SEMINAR AT DUHS
Hepatitis has emerged to be among the major and considerable global health diseases that is widely spreading and infecting around 300 million people worldwide. In Pakistan, there are approximately 7 million people who are infected with Hepatitis C among which only 1 million have been diagnosed yet. The remaining 6 million of the people are the missing millions. If we don’t join hands to find these missing millions of people, Pakistan would be suffering with the threat of disease spreading at a higher rate and millions will continue to suffer while remaining undiagnosed. Pakistan has the 2nd highest number of hepatitis patients in the world after China.
These views were expressed by the experts and specialists of liver and GI diseases at a Seminar to Eliminate Hepatitis and create public awareness organized by National Institute of Liver and GI Diseases (NILGID), constituent institute of Dow University of Health Sciences to commemorate World Hepatitis Day with a theme of “Find the Missing Millions”.
Prof. Muhammad Masroor Ahmed, Pro-Vice Chancellor of Dow University of Health Sciences was the Chief Guest at the seminar while experts like Dr. Nadeem Syed Hassan Director of NILGID, Prof. Zahid Azam, Dr. Tayyab USmani, Dr. Hafees Ullah Shaikh, Dr. Abdullah Bin Khalid, Dr. Sabihta Shaikh, Dr. Atif Majeed and Dr. Fakhar Ali Arisar attended the seminar and expressed their point of view regarding the topic.
Prof. Muhammad Masroor said that, there are no particular symptoms of hepatitis or liver diseases. It can be diagnosed by proper blood screening at the early stages. Dow University of Health Sciences is the first Blood Bank in public sector to adopt Real time PCR based NAT technology ensuring safe blood transfusion for all. Through the old traditional screening tests, the disease maybe transmitted and increase its range from one person to another. DUHS is playing a significant role in reducing the rate of transfusion transmitted diseases like Hepatitis.
Other speakers informed that Hepatitis A and E spreads through contaminated drinking water/ food and can be prevented by using boiled water, washing hands before cooking and eating and after using toilets. Whereas, Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted via use of infected blood, re-use of shaving razors at barber’s shops, use of contaminated syringes during medical procedures or injection for drug use. It is essential to screen the blood properly for these viruses and observe proper sterilization measures during dental and surgical procedures. They also mentioned the unsafe injection practice in Pakistan by quacks and emphasized on avoiding unnecessary injection use. Hepatitis A and B are preventable by administrating vaccines.
Hepatitis A and E are usually self-limiting but Hepatitis B and C slowly damages the liver and has many complications including liver failure and liver cancer. Thus, diagnosing the disease at early stage and proper treatment reduces the disease by 90 percent., awareness is an important part to prevent and eliminate Hepatitis. A mass screening of Hepatitis B and C is required to “Find the /missing Millions” in order to achieve WHO target of eliminating hepatitis by the year 2030.