KARACHI - The Hepatitis Control Programme in Sindh is going on since 2009 and so far as many 8.80 million patients of hepatitis B have been vaccinated while overall 842,086 hepatitis patients in general population, 232,355 in high risk population, 527,423 school going children and 52,702 jail inmates have been treated.

This was briefed in the Provincial Steering Committee on Hepatitis Control Programme meeting, held here in Sindh health minister office on Wednesday, chaired by Sindh Minister for Health and Population Welfare Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho.

The steering committee was also briefed that the current number of patients of hepatitis C were 68,557, hepatitis B were 6,797 and Hepatitis D were 1,628. Dr Dharejo said that number of sentinel sites were 62 and treatment centres were 17 across the province.

On this occasion, the minister suggested that drugs stock for registered patients must be kept and expedite the procurement process to facilitate hepatitis patients. She asked to announce vacant position through newspapers district wise and resources should be mobilised to make Sindh free from hepatitis.

She was of the opinion that it was the prime responsibility of the government to provide better treatment facilities to the masses.

The committee was informed that in current Annual Development Programme Rs300 millions had been allocated for the programme, out of which Rs125 millions were medicines only and it was difficult to run the affairs with limited funds.

19,000 patients of hepatitis B and C are waiting for the treatment and for the purpose additional funds are required. Dr Azra stressed upon the need of large scale advocacy and communication campaign to create awareness among masses to adopt preventive measures to safe themselves from this disease.

Special Secretary Health Nasimul Shani Sahito, Program Manager Hepatitis Control Sindh Dr Zulfiqar Dharejo, Add Secretary Law Rubina Asif, Dr M Saeed Qureshi and others also attended the meeting.