A record number of cases of hepatitis B and C were found in some specific communities of Pakistan during the past several years. The prevalence of hepatitis, especially C, remains high in Karachi, interior Sindh, Lahore and southern Punjab. In the case of hepatitis C the unsterilised medical equipment is held responsible for its transmission from an infected patient to a healthy person. But here the case is different. According to a report of the Pakistan Society of Family Physicians, there are more than 400 hospitals, laboratories/blood banks in Karachi. The same average figure is quoted for Lahore and Peshawar. In 80 per cent of these, professional donors supply blood when needed. The blood from these groups of specific donors remains unscreened and is transfused to those who need blood. The report also lamented that the blood meant for transfusion is often found contaminated. The condition is even worse in rural areas where the proportion of transfusion of unscreened blood is close to 200 per cent.

DR ZAIB ALI SHAHERYAR,

Lahore, April 16.