Hepatitis in Pakistan: Symptoms and Prevention

Hepatitis is fatal disease and spreading rapidly in Pakistan. The prevalence data estimated Hepatitis B at 3-5% and Hepatitis C at 7-10%. The figures are staggering and send shivers down anybody with a slight fore sight. Pakistan was termed as Cirrhotic state by an international medical journal. In Pakistan more people die of Hepatitis every day than terrorism in a year. Pakistan owes the highest burden of end stage liver disease as result of a public health intervention, namely mass vaccination for small pox in late sixties and early seventies. Small pox was eradicated but the menace of HCV was born. At present number of patients infected with either Hepatitis C or B in Pakistan exceed 15 million (15000000). If we consider that cost of treatment of one person is around Rs 30000 then total cost is Rs 225 billion.

Prime Minister program of Hepatitis prevention and control was launched in August 2005. Followings are results of this program:
Hepatitis B vaccination of the High Risk Personnel including health care workers was achieved.
Free of cost treatment have been extended to thousands of patients.
Free of charge molecular diagnostic test were performed.
Almost 36 million disposable syringes were procured and supplied to the sentinel sites.
Hospital waste management systems are strengthened by providing systems.
Auto disable syringes were procured for use in critical areas: blood banks, laboratories operation theaters.
Water purification plants were provided to several areas.

All five distinct types of Hepatitis viruses; A, B, C, D and E are prevalent in the country. Current estimated cumulative prevalence of Hepatitis B and C is 7.5% or 12 million who have been exposed to either of these infections. Followings are preventions from Hepatitis:
1- Always insist on the use of a new syringe for each injection.
2- Always use sterilized surgical instruments, blades or razors.
3- Always insist on the use of sterilized dental instruments.
4- Always use screened blood for transfusion.
5- Avoid getting names or pictures engraved on your skin.
6- Limit your sexual relations to your life partner.

The virus of Hepatitis can transmit by following methods:
1- Through infected syringes.
2- Transfusion of infected blood and blood products.
3- Infected shaving razors and blades.
4- Infected surgical instruments like theater instruments and instruments used for dental procedure.
5- Contaminated pins and needles used in ear or nose piercing.
6- Contaminated dialysis machines.
7- From wound and boils of infected persons.

In short this is very fatal disease and spreading very fast in Pakistan. Only care can save you from this disease