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15M People suffering from hepatitis B & C in Pakistan: Experts
  Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 5:04 pm Under Pakistan News Buzz up! 26 views
KARACHI 15 million people are suffering from hepatitis B & C in the country, said Dr Zaigham Abbas, Consultant Gastroenterologist. He was speaking at a press conference on the first day of second annual congress of Pakistan Society for Study of Liver Diseases (PSSLD) at a local hotel here on Thursday. The theme of the moot for this year is Consensus Development in Liver Diseases . The three-day event features various sessions on public awareness, Hepatitis B & C, and management of liver cancer.
Dr Abbas, speaking at the press conference, informed that the prevalence of liver diseases; particularly Hepatitis B & C, hepatocellular carcinoma, and portal hypertension; was rising in the country. Hepatitis C has a prevalence of 6 percent while that of hepatitis B is found to be 3 percent among the Pakistani population , he said.
Dr Saeed Hamid, Chairman Scientific Committee, informed that hepatitis B & C, alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and autoimmune liver disease were the most common liver diseases in the country. He stated that one-third of the cases progress to the progressive chronic liver disease and the complications may lead to shrinkage of liver (cirrhosis), accumulation of fluid in abdomen (ascites), vomiting of blood (hematemesis) and hepatic encephalopathy.
Discussing about the preventive measures, Dr Saeed urged that that shaving razors should not be shared, proper sanity conditions should be maintained; blood should be screened for hepatitis B & C before transfusion and sterilized equipment should be used for surgical procedures. He termed vaccination as a vital factor for prevention of hepatitis B.
Dr Raana Masood, Director of National Institute of Liver and Gastro-Intestinal Diseases (NILGID), highlighting the magnitude of problem stated that liver ailments were the third most common amongst all the diseases in the country. She informed that the idea behind the inception of Sarwar Zuber Liver Centre and NILGID was provision of all the services and facilities to the patients of liver diseases under one roof. She informed that liver transplantations would be started at NILGID in the next phase.
Dr Wasim Jafri, President PSSLD, urged the media to create awareness among the masses and educate public bout the risk factors and preventive measures.
Dr Rashid Jooma, Director General Health and the Chief Guest at the occasion, discussing about the menace of liver diseases, termed it as a major public health challenge.
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