Pakistan has the second highest number of Hepatitis C patients in the world
About 8 million to 10 million people suffer from the disease in the country.
In what appears to be a clear healthcare emergency, Pakistan has the second-highest number of patients of Hepatitis C virus (HCV) in the world, coming only second to Egypt. According to a conservative, rough estimate, about 8 million to 10 million people suffer from the disease in the country.
Every year, about 6,00,000 lose their life to HCV around the globe. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 325 million people worldwide are either suffering from chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The reports further add that the majority of the people even lack access to life-saving medicines and testing of the disease.
Because of it, millions of people are at risk of liver infections, diseases, and cancer. If no sustainable measures are taken for effective prevention of the HCV, the number of deaths caused by it might even surpass AIDS.
Talking to a local media source, Polyclinic Blood Bank Head Dr. Sharif Astori said that it is an ‘epidemic like’ situation in Pakistan, which needs to be urgently addressed.
”Out of a total of 4556 blood donors in Polyclinic, 177 donors were diagnosed with Hepatitis C.”
Hepatitis is a liver disease, which can range from curable liver infections to incurable cancer. In Pakistan, the most common types of liver diseases are Hepatitis B and C. Countries that have the highest rate of people chronically infected with Hepatitis C are Egypt (22%), Pakistan (4.8%) and China (3.2%).
Due to the lack of preventive measures, awareness, and lack of adequate facilities, 5 lac hepatitis patients annually and 400 lose their lives on a daily basis. The main reasons for prevalence of hepatitis are unscreened blood transfusions, using syringes again and sharing of needles among drug addicts.
To prevent it, people should avoid unnecessary drips, injections, follow proper dental treatment, proper disposal of clinical waste, surgeries. People should also be careful with the dental equipment being used during procedures.
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