SUKKUR - A walk was organised here at Ghulam Muhammad Mahar Medical College (GMMMC) on Saturday to mark the World Hepatitis Day.

Addressing the participants, Dean Faculty, Professor Dr Saleh Muhammad Channa said there were around 15 million people suffering from Hepatitis B and C in Pakistan and the prevalence of Hepatitis C in the country was around 5 percent and that of Hepatitis B was nearly 2. He urged that in order to achieve elimination of these ailments, greater awareness, increased diagnosis, key interventions and vaccination and injection safety were the pre-requisites. He said that every activity that eliminated viral hepatitis was a step towards eliminating it. Prof Channa observed that viral hepatitis was one of the leading causes of death globally, accounting for 1.34 million deaths per year.

Together, he said, hepatitis B and hepatitis C caused 80 percent of liver cancer cases in the world.

Hepatitis was not found in one location alone nor among one set of people; it was a truly global epidemic that could affect millions of people,” he added. Dr Irrum Bhutti said that currently 90 pc of people were living with hepatitis B and 80 pc with hepatitis C were not aware of their status.

He said this could result in the development of fatal liver disease at some point in their lives and in some cases, unknowingly transmitting infection to others