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Pakistan National Hepatitis Control Program
 
 
  ISLAMABAD, May 9 (APP): Minister for Information and Broadcasting and Health, Ms Sherry Rehman on Friday directed the Ministry of Health to review the National Program for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis by shifting the paradigm and focusing more on the expansion of treatment facilities to the deserving patients.
 
She said this while addressing the follow- up briefing here after the inquiry she had ordered a few days back after the appearance of some reports in the newspapers about some flaws in the program.
 
The Minister said that, the scope of this programme needs to be expanded and with the help of Provincial and District governments qualified pathologists and physicians will be appointed in all district headquarter hospitals.
 
She added logistic and human resource system, particularly cold chain arrangements for the vaccines will be improved. She appealed to the donors, philanthropists and civil society organizations to come forward and help the government in this cause.
 
The Minister was informed by the National Program Manager, Dr. Sharif Ahmad Khan that estimated prevalence of Hepatitis B and C is 3-4% (6 million infections) and 5-6 (7.5 million infections) respectively.
 
She was apprised that a comprehensive survey in this regard has just been concluded by the Ministry of Health and its results will be made public very soon.
 
Dr. Sharif Ahmad said that this is a first survey of its kind in Asia.
 
He added all distinct five types of hepatitis viruses from A to E are prevalent in the country but the overall social and economic impact of chronic hepatitis B and C are devastating.
 
The performance of the National Program for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis was also presented which was launched in August 2005.
 
The minister was informed that the programme has two aspects of prevention and treatment and since its launch around 23,000 patients have been treated and 2,85,630 have been vaccinated under this programme.
 
 
 
 
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