LAHORE - There are currently five million hepatitis patients in Pakistan and the country is listed as the most affected country after Egypt in the world. This was disclosed at a meeting, chaired by Provincial Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid at Punjab Health Department here on Wednesday.  The meeting discussed service delivery package for hepatitis clinics. The minister expressed her deep concern that 4.7 per cent of the Punjab population was suffering from different kinds of hepatitis; however, she shown her satisfaction that 114 Hepatitis Clinics were working throughout Punjab currently to provide treatment facilities to the patients. She was informed that 138,000 patients were being looked after at primary and secondary hospitals while 23,220 patients were being provided health facilities at tertiary healthcare hospitals.

The meeting was told that over 40,000 other hepatitis positive people were being treated under the PKLI arrangements.

“Working capacity of hepatitis clinics would be enhanced phase-wise,” the minister pledged. She also stressed the need for creating awareness among the public about the disease and causes of its spread.

“Preventive steps were far cheaper than hepatitis treatment.

A plan to make Punjab hepatitis-free till 2030 has been devised,” she added.