World Hepatitis Day

World Hepatitis Day (WHD) takes places every year on 28 July is an opportunity to add momentum to all efforts to implement the global health sector strategy and help countries achieve the final goal – to eliminate hepatitis. Pakistan is one of the countries most affected by this disease and tops the global charts in many categories in this regard. Statistics of hepatitis cases around the country present a horrific picture of state of affairs in country.

Every 10th person in the country is suffering from one type of hepatitis or the other and the viral infection varies in severity from a self-limited condition with total recovery to a life-threatening or lifelong disease. Over 20 million people in Pakistan are infected with hepatitis B and C virus including around 15 million with C and five million with B and the disease is swelling at an alarming rate, medical experts say. Owing to lack of preventive measures and treatment facilities, hepatitis prevalence in Pakistan is the highest on the globe. Every 10th person is infected with hepatitis. Over 1.5 lakh hepatitis patients die annually. As such over 400 people are losing life to hepatitis every day. Every year, over 1. 5 lakh Hepatitis patients are added to the existing patient load all over the country.

World health Organization has expressed the confidence that hepatitis will be eradicated from Pakistan by 2030 but the elimination of hepatitis needs national commitment and it depends on the capacity of the health system and other relevant sectors but by taking precautionary measures the deaths due to hepatitis can be reduced. Keeping in view the gravity of the situation stern measures should be taken for the eradication of hepatitis from the country. July 28 should be commemorated as the day to strengthen our national resolve to meet the global standard sin healthcare infrastructure and to get rid of all variants of hepatitis virus till the deadline set by WHO.

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Mian Bilal