Healthcare inadequacies: Nearly 80% Hepatitis B patients untreated in FATA

Governor says awareness necessary on fatal diseases such as AIDS.

Our Correspondent June 07, 2013
The governor lamented patients suffering from life threatening diseases.. PHOTO: FILE.


Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor Engineer Shaukatullah Khan on Friday took strong exception to the deprivation of thousands of patients suffering from inadequate, and in some cases, non-existent treatment facilities for various fatal diseases in the tribal belt.

The governor lamented patients suffering from life threatening diseases – particularly hepatitis B and C – in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata) were not getting the desired medical attention.

“Paucity of funds is not an acceptable excuse and there should be an emergent arrangement to save precious lives,” said Shaukatullah while presiding over a presentation on health sector issues at the Governor House.

“Availability of treatment facilities to only 1,234 out of 6,974 hepatitis B patients, and 991 out of 6,842 hepatitis C recorded patients in the whole of Fata is indeed a highly sorry state of affairs. We have to take special measures to help the 13,816 recorded patients of hepatitis in Fata in getting treatment facilities, and also to reach others who are still to be recorded,” said Shaukatullah.

The governor was of the opinion that education on aids, malaria and other such diseases should be given importance and people should be taken into confidence about the fatal consequences of these diseases. Awareness through both print and electronic media is essential, he stressed.

Shaukatullah took serious notice of the non-availability of labs in all health institutions of tribal and frontier regions except Bajaur Agency, adding the issue needs to be treated as a priority for future heath care policies.

The governor said mobile hospitals in Fata is a timely step and the health system needs to be revamped, strengthened and developed on a priority basis to ensure availability of healthcare facilities at the desired level.

The governor acknowledged the compilation of data of patients suffering from fatal diseases, expressing the desire to maintain the process on efficient grounds.

On the occasion, Shaukatullah was informed patients from almost each of the seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions have been suffering with hepatitis B and C. A lack of resources and funds is the major hurdle to bring all of them in the network of healthcare facilities.

Secretary health and other senior officials of the health services system in Fata also briefed the governor about the salient features of the health system in the tribal areas.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 8th, 2013.


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