Hepatitis-free Pakistan campaign to be started across country: Perveen Sarwar

Wife of Governor Punjab and Vice-Chair Sarwar Foundation Begum Perveen Sarwar has announced starting a Hepatitis Free Pakistan campaign throughout the country. 

She said, we pledge to do free testing and provide free medicines to 1 million people by 2021. There are more than one crore, 20 lac Hepatitis patients in Pakistan and the only way to eradicate this disease is timely diagnosis and treatment, she added. 

Talking to media representatives in Sarwar Foundation Secretariat on Saturday, Mrs Perveen Sarwar said that we have signed an MOU with the University of Health Sciences and we are working in collaboration with over 14 organizations for free hepatitis testing and provision of free medicines to Hepatitis patients throughout Pakistan. 

She further said that there are approximately 25 crore Hepatitis patients in the world whereas almost 17 crore people suffer from Hepatitis C. Hepatitis B and C takes more than 10 lac precious lives every year in the world. In Pakistan, the situation is grim as Hepatitis claims around 325 lives daily in Pakistan. 

The Vice-Chair Sarwar Foundation said that more than 15 million people in Pakistan suffer from Hepatitis B or C but what worrisome is that nearly 90% of Hepatitis stricken patients are unaware that they have this disease. Due to this reason, mass testing is very important particularly in impoverished areas where people live below the poverty line and cannot afford to get them tested. According to medical experts, there has been a surge in Hepatitis cases in Lahore as compared to 2019. This disease has affected young children, aged people but it has disastrous effects on pregnant women because Hepatitis is transferred from infected mothers to their infants. 

Mrs. Perveen Sarwar said that unfortunately, a large number of patients in Pakistan cannot afford to get themselves tested, let alone the treatment. Our aim is to reach out to those who are financially challenged. We will hold free camps in various cities of Pakistan where we will provide free testing facilities and those who will be tested positive will be given free medication until they become Hepatitis free. 

She said that we have already done free screening of 25 thousand people, out of which almost 80% were found Hepatitis positive. We bore expenses of their PCR tests as well as their treatment till their complete recovery. 

Talking about the newly launched Hepatitis Free Pakistan campaign, Mrs. Perveen Sarwar said we will hold Hepatitis camps in urban as well as rural areas where our volunteers will run a door to door awareness campaign about this disease and its precautionary measures. Our aim is to do free testing and provide free medicines to over one million people by 2021, she said. She reiterated that with mass testing and treatment, it is possible to get rid of viral Hepatitis diseases.

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