ISLAMABAD - The loopholes in existing Hepatitis Control Programme, introduced by the previous regime, have pushed the incumbent government to formulate Hepatitis Prevention Act that would be supported by two other medical acts, including Safe Blood Transfusion Act and Medical Devices Act to root out the rampant deadly liver disease from the country. The step has been taken after observing a number of deficiencies in the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis and it has been decided to rename the Programme as 'Prime Minister Emergency Action on Hepatitis'. TheNation has learnt through reliable sources in the concerned departments that to infuse a new life in the National Hepatitis Control Programme, government has decided to take a number of initiatives. It has been decided to run the programme with a new approach warranted with overlapping projects and legislation aimed at fighting back this growing menace in country. "A number of component wise deficiencies were observed in the National Programme for Prevention and control of Hepatitis. Under the programme, six laboratories had been selected for the purpose of upgradation but the target was missed and no laboratory was upgraded to check the water quality," sources added. They said that for epidemic testing, only two kits of hepatitis had been purchased and they were used only by N.I.H during the implementation year that consisted of three years and only 24,000 cases were provided medical treatment under the said programme. It is pertinent to mention here that the National Programme for prevention of Hepatitis was launched in 2005 at a cost of Rs 2.5 billion but it could be not run in an effective manner. Now, the Ministry of Health has planned to launch a comprehensive programme, including legalisation to fight the deadly disease. "The new initiatives would be taken with an approached focusing on prevention, diagnosis and behavioural change while treatment would be provincialised," informed an official. He said that under the new strategy government had planned to establish a national network to monitor the disease surveillance. "Channels of spread of hepatitis B, C, D are reuse of injections, improper sterilisation of medical instruments, body piercing and unscreened blood transfusion, therefore, steps are being taken to bring these neglected areas under legal sphere," he added. He said that hepatitis and infection control committee would also be established at provincial levels and would be made functional in almost 425 major hospitals of the country. "A microbiologist each from the selected hospital will be trained and would be made responsible for awareness and to improve and monitor sterilisation, staff immunisation," he added. According to the official, government was also urging provinces, AJK and FATA to device their PC-1 for treatment component of hepatitis as so far Sindh, Punjab and NWFP had completed their PC-1 while Balochistan is yet to devise. "Sindh has prepared PC-1 with a cost of Rs 2.3 billion having a provision of 50,000 patients treatment while the government is also trying to take FATA and AJK on board in this regard so they can adopt this programme in their entity," he added.