Webinar on World
Hepatitis Day at DUHS

KARACHI: Dow University of Health Sciences organized a Webinar on World Hepatitis Day recently. Speaking at the occasion Director National Institute of liver and Gastrointestinal Disease Dr. Nadeem Syed Hassan said 15 million people in Pakistan are infected with hepatitis B&C, which is increasing rapidly. Use of injections is four times more in Pakistan than in the rest of the world, just because of people of generally believe that it heals quickly while in Pakistan! 17 to 50% of syringes are recycled and used. Which is the main reason for the increase in Hepatitis in Pakistan. Others who also spoke during the Webinar included Prof. Zahid Azam, Dr. Tayyab Usmani Dr. Sabihta Shabir, Dr. Abdullah Bin Khalid and Dr. Kelash.

Speaking about the prevalence of Hepatitis, he said as per survey conducted in 2007-8, in Pakistan! 2.5% people were infected with hepatitis B and 4.8% with hepatitis C. However, according to recent survey which is conducted in only Punjab, 17% of people are infected with Hepatitis C while 2.2% are infected with Hepatitis B. The reason for this high prevalence includes unsafe blood transfusion, unsafe physical relationship, unhygienic dental instruments and other instruments and unnecessary use of injections. Hospital waste material needs to be disposed of properly, especially, the needle of the syringes should be cut off so that it cannot be reused.

Prof. Zahid Azam said that hepatitis is a silent killer because of initially, the symptoms do not appears and every Pakistani should get tested for hepatitis because with timely diagnosis, this deadly disease can be easily treated.

Dr. Tayyab Usmani pointed out that if a person has had hepatitis for more than six months, we call it chronic disease, and it can be treated, as the symptoms do not appear in the beginning that’s why it is important to get tested. Early ages, hepatitis can be dangerous, such a patient should be examined from time to time because the liver begins to shrink in a period of 2 to 8 years and this causes stiffness in the liver and it stop working. In this case, the liver transplantation is the only possibility. Hepatitis B can be transmitted from a pregnant mother to a newborn baby while a breastfed baby will be safe if fully vaccinated.

Dr. Sabetha Shabbir said the first cause of liver failure in the last few years is the fatty liver. About 40% of people with liver disease are suffering from fatty liver. Its prevalence is about 10 to 20. About 70% of obese people suffer from fatty liver while thirty percent of diabetic patient also suffer from fatty liver. This disease usually has the same symptoms as nausea, loss of appetite, weakness in body, loss of weight, abdominal pain, nervousness, dizziness which also happens in other disease. Fatty liver could be confirmed by ultrasound, biopsy or fibrosis.

Dr. Abdullah bin Khalid stated that usually once the patient is infected it takes 10 to 15 years for the liver to begin to shrink and symptoms appear much later. Symptoms of bleeding in the vomit, water in stomach and drowsiness need to be treated timely. Dr. Kelash pointed out that transplant can save lives when the liver stops working in hepatitis. (PR)

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