KARACHI - Experts have urged the public to show extreme caution on edibles especially drinking water when travelling during vacations.
As summer vacations have started, people with their families are planning trips and vacation where they are likely to drink contaminated lake water and eat food from outside, Dr Iqbal Memon, President Pakistan Paediatric Society said, while speaking at health awareness seminar held on Saturday.
“This is happening everywhere in Pakistan, no matter vacation or not, it may be noted that contaminated water and even filtered sources of water , with their viral infective components continue to affect health of all users exposing to danger of Hepatitis A. It is important to ensure that every family member including adults & children are vaccinated before visiting such areas,” he said.
Dr Iqbal Memon said that unsafe water can lead to many intestinal and liver diseases, particularly Typhoid, Hepatitis A & E, Gastroenteritis, Dysentery, etc. Dairy products also are good sources of these ailments. With summer hovering, use of unsafe water , over ripe fruits, cooked or uncooked food left in open, even without cover, and increased need and demand of water for drinking and drinks shall add to the issues, he added.
“Parents should get themselves and their children vaccinated for Hepatitis A as they will be exposed to contaminated water and food during their journey and stay at different locations up-north, where the sanitary and hygiene conditions are unfortunately poor and substandard,” Dr Iqbal said.
“Immunisation is one of the most cost effective and quick means, protecting people against preventable ailments; non-utilisation of vaccines is equivalent to crime against humanity, particularly children. All EPI program managers and health officials are urged to ensure delivery of all vaccines in most convenient manner and with maximum outlets along with awareness drive locally through schools, mosques and madarsahs periodically and achieve vaccination targets,” he said.
The residents of the scenic and exotic cities in the north of the country unfortunately are already complaining about and suffering from Hepatitis A outbreak due to lack of awareness and medical facilities, he mentioned. 
 “Hundreds of patients suffering from Hepatitis-A have already been admitted in various hospitals. It seems that contaminated water has mixed into the drinking water which has caused the epidemic,” Dr Abdul Wasay said.