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Pakistan: 13 Million Have Hepatitis

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    13 Million Pakistanis Suffer Hep C and Hep B 5-15-6 http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp? page=2006%5C05%5C14%5Cstory_14-5-2006_pg12_60 KARACHI -- About 13
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 6, 2006
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      13 Million Pakistanis Suffer Hep C and Hep B
      5-15-6
      http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?
      page=2006%5C05%5C14%5Cstory_14-5-2006_pg12_60


      KARACHI -- About 13 million people in Pakistan are victim of hepatitis
      B and C, stated Dr Huma Qureshi of the Pakistan Medical Research
      Council, Islamabad, while delivering a lecture Saturday at the
      Pakistan Medical Association (PMA).

      Hepatitis B has so far infected four to five million people and
      hepatitis C six to seven million of the total population of Pakistan.
      They both constitute about four or five percent of the total population.

      Last year a new program was launched for prevention and control of
      hepatitis-related diseases which would be completed in five years
      period at a cost of Rs 2.5 billion. Hepatitis B is a disease caused by
      a virus which attacks the liver and can cause lifelong infections,
      cirrhosis, liver cancer, liver failure and ultimately death. The
      disease spreads by contact with an infected person's blood, semen or
      other body fluids, unsafe sex with an infected individual, sharing
      drug needles, living with someone having the disease and sharing
      toothbrush or razor with an infected person.

      The Hepatitis B vaccine, which has been available for all age groups
      in Pakistan since 1985, is the only universally accepted strategy for
      treatment of the lethal disease. For Hepatitis C, the growing tendency
      of unnecessary and illegal use of injections and reused injections by
      doctors are major causes of the spread of the virus.

      Barbers and unsafe blood transfusions are attributed as major causes
      of the spread of Hepatitis C. It was generally observed that in
      Karachi hospitals patients insist doctors inject them with blood to
      overcome their weakness and this unnecessary use of blood coupled with
      unsafe modes of transmission is spreading Hepatitis C.

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