LAHORE - Like other parts of the globe, World Hepatitis Day will be observed across the country today (Sunday) for raising awareness about viral hepatitis, precautionary measures and treatment.  WHD is observed on July 28 every year under different themes to highlight the importance of timely diagnosis and treatment and benefits of precautionary measures.

Seminars, workshops, walks and free camps were arranged by public sector and private health institutions on Saturday to mark the event.

This year, WHO is focusing on two main themes: This is hepatitis. Know it. Confront it and

 See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil. The message from this theme is that hepatitis is being ignored around the world, and we are calling for that to change.

The Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Shaikh Zayed Hospital, Lahore organised a free screening camp, walk and public awareness seminar on Saturday. The purpose of this seminar was to provide information regarding the prevention and treatment of hepatitis. A free hepatitis screening camp was also set up. A large number of doctors, nurses and paramedical staff participated in this hepatitis awareness walk which was lead by Chairman and Dean Shaikh Zayed Hospital.

Addressing the seminar, speakers stressed the importance of hygiene and adherence to sterile techniques in the prevention of hepatitis. They also made it clear that viral hepatitis B & C are a burden that is more widespread and lethal than any other major ailment in Pakistan, but remain the most difficult and expensive to treat and that this has to be realized at every level of government.

Speaking at event at Lahore General Hospital, Dr Israr ul Haq Toor said 6 to 7 per cent Pakistanis have fallen prey to Hepatitis C while 2.5 per cent are suffering from Hepatitis B which is alarming figure. He said that hepatitis in on the rise throughout the world especially in developing countries. He further said that there are five types of Hepatitis virus; A, B, C, D and E. contaminated and polluted water and unhygienic food are the major reasons for Hepatitis A and E while most of the people suffer from Hepatitis B, C and D because of used syringes and unsafe blood transfusion. He said that this disease can be transmitted from mother to child at the time of delivery.

Moreover use of common syringes by addicts and unsterilized surgical item also are one of the causes of this disease. He said that no vaccine of Hepatitis C has so far been prepared.