ISLAMABAD-Health experts on Monday said that above15 million people are living with Hepatitis B and C in Pakistan which means the prevalence of Hepatitis B in Pakistan is around 5 per cent, while that of Hepatitis C is 2.5 per cent.

The overwhelming majority is unaware of how the viral infection can be prevented, treated, and, in the case of Hepatitis C, cured. Dr. Muhammad Naseer, a gastroenterologist at Shifa International Hospital shared these views on World Hepatitis Day.

World Hepatitis Day is commemorated each year on 28 July to enhance awareness of hepatitis, an inflammation of the liver that causes a range of health problems, including liver cancer. 

The purpose of marking the day is to bring the world together under a single theme to raise awareness of the global burden of Viral Hepatitis in a bid to influence real change. Worldwide, 325 million people are living with hepatitis B and C.

Dr. Muhammad Naseer, while explaining the strains of Hepatitis said that there are five main strains of the hepatitis virus – A, B, C, D and E. 

Together, Hepatitis B and C are the most common causes of death, with 1.4 million lives lost each year worldwide.

Dr. Nadeem Iqbal, a gastroenterologist at Shifa International Hospital said that this year’s theme is “Hepatitis-free future,” with a strong focus on preventing Hepatitis B (HBV) among mothers and newborns.

While talking about the major risk factors for the transmission of Hepatitis B and C infection, he said that therapeutic injections, syringe reuse, surgery, improper sterilisation of invasive medical devices, blood transfusion, hospitalisation, and sharing of razors are modes of transmission of B and C infection. Early detection and treatment can save lives of patients, he added.