LAHORE: There is a need to deal with massive shortcomings in blood transfusions, healthcare practices, and water contamination to overcome the spread of the deadly disease called hepatitis, said Dr Irshad Hussain, who is Head of Medicine at Mayo Hospital, Lahore.
Talking to The Express Tribune in connection with the World Hepatitis Day marked on July 28 across the world, he explained there are five types of hepatitis, but hepatitis C is the leading cause of death.
He said there is a need to create awareness among masses about the disease, which makes the liver dysfunctional. He added that there are millions of people who have the disease but they are unaware. This year’s theme is ‘find the missing millions’ of undiagnosed people suffering from this disease.
Dr Bilqees Shabbir, who is Head of Medicine at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital, said that almost all major hospitals have separate departments for the patients of hepatitis, she said. She added that the patients should immediately see doctors so that their tests are done and treatment starts soon because it is a fatal disease.
She said that in recent years, due to modern research and availability of best medicines, the treatment of hepatitis has become a lot easier. Low cast medicines are available and by using them within 3 to 6 months patients can get rid of the disease, she said. Moreover, these medicines have the capability to control the shrinking of liver and also wipe out the virus, she said.
Dr Israrul Haq Toor, who works as Associate Professor of Medicine at Lahore General Hospital, said that to prevent hepatitis people need to avoid unhygienic lifestyle and contaminated water.
Quackery and spread of hepatitis
A few months ago, following the orders of Supreme Court, the PHC teams had sealed 669 businesses and visited 1,693 centres during crackdown carried out in different districts of the province. During the crackdown, PHC claimed the businesses of more than 6,000 fake clinics and hakeems were closed down.
Seminar on hepatitis
Meanwhile, the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute (PKLI) and research center organised a seminar on ‘Let’s Defeat Hepatitis’. The event was organised in connection with the World Hepatitis Day.
The government representatives, medical experts, social workers, representatives from healthcare departments and students from various educational institutions attended the seminar.
PKLI President and CEO Dr Saeed Akhtar said that after Egypt, Pakistan is the country with the most number of hepatitis patients. Therefore, there is a need to spread awareness about the disease.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2018.
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