Hepatitis is one of the most prevalent diseases in Pakistan. An estimated 18 million Pakistani population is infected with the hepatitis B and C viruses. These remarks were made by speakers during an event organised by Aman Foundation to mark the World Hepatitis Day on Monday, July 29, 2013. The theme of the event was, Hepatitis- Know it and confront it.
Of the 18 million patients, nearly seven million are infected with HBV and 11 million with HCV, while the disease is reportedly continuously swelling. Every 10th Pakistani is believed to be suffering from the viral hepatitis, added the speakers.
A poster competition was arranged during which the Aman tech students, Aman health community and faculty members spoke about hepatitis and its prevention techniques. Dr Om Parkash, senior instructor and consultant gastroenterologist at the Aga Khan University, was invited as the guest speaker and judge of the poster competition.
The focus of Dr Parkash’s presentation was on preventive care. He spoke about the significance of timely vaccinations, the cause behind the disease’s spread and the treatments available in the market.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, most commonly caused by a viral infection. There are five main hepatitis viruses, referred to as types A, B, C, D and E. On average, as many as 150,000 deaths per year across the world can be attributed to hepatitis B and C, mainly because of cirrhosis and liver cancer, the speakers said.
Dr Zahid Ali Faheem concluded the session by discussing how small things could have a huge impact on an individual’s life. He also enlightened the audience about the availability and prices of the hepatitis vaccinations and suggested the management to have vaccination cards for students. In the end, awards were distributed to the winners of the poster competition by Jawaid Sheikh.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.