LAHORE - Adviser to Punjab Chief Minister on Health Kh Salman Rafiq has said that alarming increase in hepatitis B and C cases was source of serious concerns for professionals and policymakers.

Addressing a conference on hepatitis arranged by Punjab Health Department at Aiwan-e-Iqbal on Monday, he stressed the need of creating public awareness regarding preventive measures to avoid becoming a victim of hepatitis.

The purpose of conference was to inform the doctors, nurses and health managers about the situation of hepatitis and also create awareness among the people. Secretary Health Punjab Jawad Rafique Malik, Director General Health Punjab Dr Zahid Pervaiz, Parliamentary Secretary Health Khawaja Imran Nazir, doctors, nurses, Medical Superintendents of government hospitals, principals of medical collages and health professionals all over the province participated in the conference.

Kh Salman Rafiq said that government was paying special attention to eliminate quackery and also making legislation for declaring quackery non-bailable crime. He said that this fatal disease could only be controlled if besides government, people also come forward to discharge their responsibility. He said that proper disposal of disposable syringes was essential for which cutters have also been provided to the hospitals. However, implementation on it is a question mark, he added. He said that besides doctors, government was also making sincere efforts for resolving the problems of paramedics of allied health sciences and promotion of nurses so that these people could discharge their duties with devotion and dedication.

He said that proper disposal of hospital waste was essential and administrative doctors of government hospitals would have to realize their responsibility in this regard. He said that government would provide injections and medicines to one lakh hepatitis patients. He said that on the instructions of Chief Minister Punjab, arrangements have been finalized for setting up a state-of-the-art liver transplant center at Dera Chahal in Lahore and government would soon appoint consultants.  He said that it was aimed at ensuring provision of modern treatment facilities to the patients of liver cancer and other diseases in the country. He said that government would evolve a policy for the control of hepatitis in the light of recommendations presented by professionals in the hepatitis conference.

The secretary health said that the purpose of holding the conference was to renew the determination against hepatitis and sensitization of experts associated with this sector. He said that hepatitis was a silent killer and there were more patients in the society than registered with the Health Department.