4.5% Pakistanis Infected With HCV, 2.5% With HBV: Health Experts

4.5% Pakistanis infected with HCV, 2.5% with HBV: Health experts

ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 28th july, 2016) : Health experts on Thursday said that approximately 700,000 people die each year from hepatitis-C related liver diseases around the world. Addressing a seminar organized by Shifa International Hospital (SIH) they called for creating awareness among patients and general public to mark world hepatitis day. They said more than 686,000 people die every year due to complications of hepatitis B, including cirrhosis and liver cancer.

consultant Gastroenterologist at Shifa International Hospital (SIH) Dr. Muhammad Salih said an estimated 240 million people were chronically infected with hepatitis B and between 130 to 150 million people globally had chronic hepatitis-C infection which was an alarming figures revealed by WHO. He said that the spectrum of chronic hepatitis-C infection was essentially the same as chronic hepatitis-B infection, he added.

He said that around 4.5 percent of total Pakistani population is hepatitis-C infected whereas 2.5 percent of the population is hepatitis-B patient. He said people in Asia Pacific acquire HBV and HCV infection through transfusion and transplant while newborns of long-term carriers, intravenous drug users, healthcare workers, prisoners and other institutionalized people also acquire HBV and HCV infection. Highlighting clinical features of chronic liver disease, Dr.

Salih said, fatigue, vascular spiders, enlarged or shrunken liver, enlarged spleen, finger clubbing, ascites and bruising are some of the symptoms. "Vaccine is the best way to prevent the disease in the healthy ones," he stated. Early diagnosis of HBV and HCV is very important in order to get rid of it and to avoid liver failure which results in liver transplant. "Used syringe, used blade at barbers' shops, tobacco and alcohol consumption and blood transfusion through unscreened blood can cause hepatitis.

In order to avoid the virus the universal safety precautions are needed to observe," he said. On the occasion, Director Health Services CDA Dr. Hassan Urooj formally inaugurated the awareness campaign. He interacted with the doctors and management of SIH and appreciated Shifa for arranging an informative session to promote prevention and healthy living. He added his regard information stalls were placed in Shifa.

All kind of information literature related to the hepatitis was available at the stall including broachers, flyers, pamphlets and booklets. A large number of people from twin cities joined the campaign, and termed the campaign material informative and helpful in avoiding hepatitis, and understanding the significance and severity of the disease. Free screening for HBV was also offered through lucky draw to the number of audience. All the patients with HBV and HCV were also provided free consultancy from qualified gastroenterologists.