AKU moves to eliminate Hepatitis C in Pakistan


Prominent pharmaceutical company Getz Pharma and the Aga Khan University Outreach Health Network have joined hands for a mission to eradicate Hepatitis C in Pakistan.

According to a press release by Getz Pharma, the company has “pledged to make a significant in-kind donation of medicines to the Aga Khan University Outreach Health Network for its Hepatitis C Elimination Programme”.

A ceremony was held in this regard on Friday, April 2, with strict adherence to all safety precautions for coronavirus.

The deal was inked by Getz Pharma CEO Khalid Mahmood and Aga Khan University President Firoz Rasul.

With the donation by Getz Pharma, Aga Khan’s Outreach Health Network will make “high quality and holistic care” for Hepatitis C more accessible to patients belonging to lower-income groups, all over Pakistan.

The programme will spread over two years and it is hoped 12,000 indigent patients from Karachi, Larkana, Nawabshah, Jacobabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, and Peshawar, will be able to benefit from it via 11 Outreach Medical Centres in three provinces.

Additionally, besides free medicines, Getz Pharma will support the establishment of a mobile clinic and a nationwide Hepatitis-C public awareness campaign.

“While our business goal has always been to provide quality and affordable medicines; we assign our social responsibility an equal priority, said Getz Pharma CEO Khalid Mahmood, while addressing the ceremony.

Aga Khan University’s Outreach Health Network CEO Shagufta Hassan, for her part, thanked Getz Pharma for their “generous contribution” to the national cause of Hepatitis C elimination.

“Today, we are a step closer to defeating this deadly virus,” she said.

“AKU Outreach Health Network will continue to reach out to those in need of compassionate care and provide them with the highest quality standards at their doorsteps,” she added.

Dr. Saeed Hamid, Professor of Medicine, AKU, while stressing upon the importance of eliminating Hepatitis C in Pakistan, said that the eradication of the disease “will prevent nearly 30,000 deaths per year in adults in the prime of their lives and drastically reduce the burden of liver cancer in country”.—PR