Prevention of Hepatitis

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ESTABLISHMENT of Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute & Research Centre in Lahore and inauguration of its first phase – Hepatitis Prevention and Treatment Clinic – would surely go a long way in addressing a problem that is assuming serious proportions in the country i.e. rapid spread of Hepatitis. The Centre is expected to play a crucial role in vaccination of Hepatitis B and complete treatment of Hepatitis B & C and afford opportunity of free treatment to about one hundred thousand patients annually.
This, coupled with Prime Minister’s Health Insurance Programme, which is being expanded throughout the country, would help mitigate sufferings of the people especially those from poor background who cannot afford costly treatment of Hepatitis. Thanks to interest of the Minister of State for Health Saira Afzal Tarar the overall treatment cost of Hepatitis-C has come down significantly, as tablets are now available at a fraction of the original price of about one hundred thousand rupee a tablet but still there are segments of population that cannot afford the treatment. No doubt, establishment of the Clinic is a good and praiseworthy development but only one facility at provincial capital is unlikely to make a difference until and unless similar facilities are created in other areas and to begin with Rawalpindi in the North and Multan in South Punjab. In fact, other province also need to replicate the project in their provinces besides launching genuine programmes aimed at provision of clean drinking water to all citizens as Hepatitis is mostly spread by polluted water.