DR. Zeeshan Khan |
The biggest tragedy is that Pakistan is the country which has one of the highest burdens of chronic hepatitis B and C and so high mortality due to liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, data about the recent national-level prevalence and risk factors are not available and different studies (hospital-based and regional) present different prevalence rate in the country.
Pakistan’s neighboring country India which has almost 6 times more population than Pakistan also has a high prevalence of hepatitis B and C with an estimate of infection of 40 and 12 million people with hepatitis B and C, respectively but like Pakistan, the exact prevalence of Hepatitis B and C is not known.
Media and civil society should work together to spread awareness about this disease. Majority of people are suffering from stomach acidity
World Hepatitis Day observed on July 28 every year, aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis. Hepatitis is spreading rapidly in Pakistan. With each passing day, the number of patients suffering from this disease is increasing. Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory condition of the liver. It’s commonly caused by a viral infection, but there are other possible causes of hepatitis.
These include autoimmune hepatitis and hepatitis that occurs as a secondary result of medications, drugs, toxins, and alcohol. There is a high prevalence of hepatitis B and C in Pakistan with around 10 million population with hepatitis C virus infection alone. In addition, there is great variability in the prevalence of hepatitis B and C in a different region, groups, and communities. There is no data available on the leading cause of admission to hospitals and also mortality due to hepatitis B and C.
We should take precautionary measures because treatment of different diseases is complex and expensive. About two million people are suffering from this disease. Hepatitis may be temporary or chronic depending on whether it lasts for less than or more than six months. There are five main types of viral hepatitis: type A, B, C, D, and E. To prevent this disease, we should take precautionary measures. Health sector of Punjab is doing prominent work for prevention from this disease.
Hepatitis B and C are big health issues worldwide as more than 400 million people are suffering from chronic hepatitis B and C which result in more than 1.4 million deaths each year compared to malaria, HIV, and tuberculosis which cause 1.2 million, 1.5 million and 1.2 million deaths each year, respectively. The major route of transmission of hepatitis B, C and D is through body fluids while A and E are transmitted through contaminated food and water.
The biggest tragedy is that Pakistan is the country which has one of the highest burdens of chronic hepatitis B and C and so high mortality due to liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma.
According to a study done by Pakistan Medical Research Council in 2007-08, 7.6% Pakistani population suffered from hepatitis B and C, with around 4.8% with hepatitis C only. The government of Pakistan has taken different initiatives like vaccination, patient safety, blood screening, education and awareness about the disease but still, there is a high prevalence of hepatitis in Pakistan. According to some studies injecting drug users have the highest prevalence of hepatitis B and C in the country.
The follow-up studies and documentation of hepatitis patients was not very good which need to be improved. There is no recent large-scale study on risk factors and prevalence of hepatitis B and C in Pakistan so it should be done on an urgent basis. If the government set up regional laboratories for prevalence study and also a central institute for hepatitis research and treatment, the disease could be prevented in a better and proper way.
The treatment of hepatitis is very costly and a developing country like Pakistan cannot afford such high costs. Therefore more focus should be on preventive measures. There are many diseases of gastroenterology in Pakistan; every third person has blood deficiency; every fourth person is heart patient while one-third of the people from 20 to 50 years age are suffering from hepatitis B and C. Patients’ whole life gets affected due to this disease.
Media and civil society should work together to spread awareness about this disease. Majority of people are suffering from stomach acidity. They should consult with a doctor if it is getting severe. It has been that the investigated prevalence of hepatitis B and C in high-risk groups such as injecting drug users (IDUs), prisoners, security personals and health care workers. According to this study, IDUs have the highest prevalence of hepatitis B and C.
World Hepatitis Day observed on July 28 every year, aims to raise global awareness of hepatitis. Hepatitis is spreading rapidly in Pakistan
Prevention is better than cure. Hepatitis is spreading rapidly; 5 percent of the population is suffering from hepatitis C while 2.5 percent of the population is suffering from hepatitis B. We suffer from such diseases because we have changed our lifestyle and due to that obesity is increasing rapidly. We should avoid getting injected for any reason all the time and we should also wash our hands before eating anything.
Pakistan is a developing country with a high population density and limited resources so it is hard to afford the high cost of treating hepatitis and hepatitis associated with complications. Currently, the best way should be to know the exact prevalence of hepatitis in the country and also the major risk and infection factors so they could be targeted specifically.
Hepatitis A and E are mainly spread by contaminated food and water. Both hepatitis B and C are commonly spread through infected blood such as may occur during needle sharing by intravenous drug users. Hepatitis D can only infect people already infected with hepatitis B. Hepatitis A, B, and D are preventable with immunization.
Medications may be used to treat chronic cases of viral hepatitis. However, a healthy lifestyle, including physical activity, a healthy diet, and weight loss, is important. It is necessary to establish regional laboratories in each province to have the exact estimate of hepatitis burden in Pakistan.
There is a high prevalence of hepatitis B and C in Pakistan with around 10 million population with hepatitis C virus infection alone.
There should be one central institute for hepatitis research, which should be linked with all the regional laboratories as well as treatment centers/hospitals and also make a recommendation for the government on prevention and treatment options. In addition, the institute will run and monitor the clinical trials with new and emerging treatment which could be provided to patients in the future.
We have to eliminate hepatitis till 2030. This disease is curable. More than one million people are suffering from this disease while 14 percent of people do not know that they are suffering from it. Stomach and liver diseases have increased and quackery has played a major role in developing such diseases. We will have to stand against quackery system.
Read more: Pakistan’s health care system in a crisis
An acute form of hepatitis, generally caused by viral infection, is characterized by constitutional symptoms that are typically self-limiting. Chronic hepatitis presents similarly but can manifest signs and symptoms specific to liver dysfunction with long-standing inflammation and damage to the organ.
According to WHO, liver cancer is a second biggest cause of death. This is found in men three times more than women; 80 to 85 percent are those who have squeezed liver. We take junk food that is why we suffer from acidity and other stomach diseases. And mostly stomach disease when getting worse, they lead to such severe deadly diseases. Stomach ulcers are painful sores in the stomach lining. Stomach ulcers are a type of peptic ulcer disease. Peptic ulcer affects both the stomach and small intestines.
Treatment methods have been improved due to that we can easily diagnose and treat any disease. Large intestine cancer is spreading rapidly.30 percent of patients of the fatty liver have liver inflammation.
Stomach ulcers occur when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is reduced. This allows the digestive acids to eat away the tissues that line the stomach, causing an ulcer. Stomach ulcers may be easily cured, but they can become severe without proper treatment.
The standard treatments in Pakistan for hepatitis B and C are interferon, pegylated interferon, and ribavirin, which is also used globally. Stomach ulcers are almost always caused by an infection with the bacterium Helicobacter pylori (H pylori) long-term use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen. Jaundice may indicate a serious problem with the function of your red blood cells, liver, gallbladder, or pancreas. Jaundice forms when there is too much bilirubin in your system. Normally, the liver gets rid of bilirubin along with old red blood cells.
Over 20 million people in Pakistan are infected with hepatitis B and C virus including around 15 million with C and five million with B and the disease is swelling at an alarming rate, medical experts say. “Owing to lack of preventive measures and treatment facilities, hepatitis prevalence in Pakistan is the highest on the globe. Every 10th person is infected with hepatitis.
Over 1.5 lakh hepatitis patients die annually. As such over 400 people are losing life to hepatitis every day. Every year, over 1.5 lakh Hepatitis patients are added to the existing patient load. Every 10th person in the country is suffering from one type of hepatitis or the other and the viral infection varies in severity from a self-limited condition with total recovery to a life-threatening or lifelong disease.
Hepatitis A and E are mainly spread by contaminated food and water. Both hepatitis B and C are commonly spread through infected blood such as may occur during needle sharing by intravenous drug users
The study that was done by Pakistan Medical Research Council was almost 7 years ago so the current scenario will be much different. In addition, that was a small study and more data should be incorporated into the new countrywide study.
In more severe cases, the whites of your eyes may turn brown or orange-colored. You may also have dark urine and pale stools. If an underlying health condition such as viral hepatitis is to blame for jaundice, you might experience other symptoms, such as excessive fatigue and vomiting; 90 percent of children suffer from it. It is necessary to keep ourselves clean.
Treatment methods have been improved due to that we can easily diagnose and treat any disease. Large intestine cancer is spreading rapidly.30 percent of patients of the fatty liver have liver inflammation. People having fatty liver are those who suffer from obesity. We should avoid junk food and unnecessary medicines. Patients should get their treatment and they should be properly aware of their disease.
Dr. Zeeshan Khan is a practicing doctor and a political analyst. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Global Village Space’s editorial policy.