LAHORE: World Hepatitis Day is marked by the World Health Organization as a public health issue of priority. The theme this year is “One Life, One Liver” to highlight the importance of protecting both by prevention and treatment.
Pakistan has one of the highest rates of hepatitis B & C in the region, and unfortunately, a large number of people suffering from chronic hepatitis remain unaware of their diagnosis. If left untreated, chronic hepatitis can progress to an irreversible stage of advanced liver disease and may lead to liver cancer, liver failure, or even death. We cannot wait and must act now to fight both hepatitis and cancer to save lives.
On this occasion, in a television interview, Dr Faisal Sultan, CEO of Shaukat Khanum Memorial Cancer Hospital and Research Centre (SKMCH&RC) emphasised that people must not demand unnecessary injections and healthcare professionals must avoid unsafe injection practices, using un-screened blood for transfusions, and unsterilized equipment for dental or surgical procedures for prevention of hepatitis B and C. A vaccine is available for hepatitis B, which makes possible to control new cases and treatment is available for hepatitis C.
The sooner you start treatment for hepatitis, the better chance you have at a long and healthy life. At Shaukat Khanum Laboratory Collection Centres across Pakistan, testing is available for hepatitis. Gastroenterologists at SKMCH&RC also offer comprehensive evaluation and treatment for gastrointestinal diseases, including hepatitis B and C.