Global mortality from hepatitis reaches one million annually, health experts

Press Release 10:09 AM, 7 Mar, 2024
Global mortality from hepatitis reaches one million annually, health experts

KARACHI: During a seminar titled "Let's Get Rid of Hepatitis B," organized by Ward 7 of Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre (JPMC) in collaboration with the Department of Continuous Medical Education, Dr. Maryam Waqas shared alarming statistics: around 2.5% of Pakistan's population tests positive for Hepatitis, while globally, Hepatitis B affects 296 million individuals, including over 6 million children under the age of 5.

Professor Masroor Ahmed, Principal of Sindh Medical College (SMC-JSMU) and Head of Department of Ward 7 at JPMC, highlighted that Hepatitis B alone causes approximately 820,000 deaths annually, underscoring the preventable nature of the disease and the importance of vaccination.

Addressing the diagnostic challenges of Hepatitis, JSMU Vice-Chancellor, Prof Amjad Siraj Memon, emphasized the need for alternative diagnostic methods and tailored treatment approaches.

Professor Nasir Luck, a Gastroenterologist at SIUT, emphasized a comprehensive therapeutic approach aimed at enhancing both survival and quality of life by preventing disease progression, cirrhosis, and liver cancer.

Furthermore, Prof Nasir outlined the World Health Organization's (WHO) global hepatitis strategy, aiming to eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030, targeting a significant reduction in new cases and mortality.

Dr. Zeeshan Ali Junejo, Associate Professor of Medicine at JSMU, highlighted the risk of hepatitis transmission to pregnant and breastfeeding women, advocating for screening and vaccination during pregnancy to prevent transmission to infants.

Renowned Gastroenterologist Prof Bader Fayyaz Zubairi stressed the importance of prevention, urging all medical students and healthcare workers to prioritize vaccination.

The seminar was attended by distinguished individuals including National Professor Iqbal Afridi, Director CME Dr. Rahat Naz, and Dean Faculty of Basic Medical Sciences Professor Azhar Mughal.

In conjunction with the seminar, the Institute of Family Medicine-JSMU, in collaboration with the Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program (HPCP) and Sentilil Site, organized a camp for screening, testing, and vaccination under the supervision of Professor Masroor Ahmed. The facility was open to all, and healthcare staff received testing and vaccinations, facilitated by Dr. Fariha Kamran and Dr. Kiran Abdul Sattar.