KARACHI- A Provincial Steering Committee meeting was recently held at the Sindh Health Minister’s office, in order to discuss the progress of Sindh Hepatitis Control Program.
This meeting was chaired by Minister for Health and Population Welfare, Sindh, Dr Azra Fazal Pechuho. Special Secretary Health Nasim ul Shani Sahito, Program Manager Hepatitis Control Sindh Dr Zulfiqar Dharejo, Additional Secretary Law Rubina Asif, Dr Saeed Qureshi and other members were also present in the meeting. Dr Dharejo informed that 62 sentinel sites and 17 treatment centers are running across the province.
As per statistical reports, it was revealed that the Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program (HPCP) Sindh has vaccinated 8.80 million Hepatitis B patients since 2009 to date, while overall 8,42,086 hepatitis patients in general population, 2,32,355 in high risk population, 5,27,423 school going children and 52,702 jail inmates have been readily treated.
The Steering Committee was also briefed regarding the current number of patients suffering from different types of Hepatitis, where Hepatitis C patients were 68,557 in number, 6,797 Hepatitis B, 1,628 Hepatitis C patients.
On this occasion, Provincial Minister for Health, Dr Azra Pechuho suggested that drug stock for registered Hepatitis patients must be assigned to facilitate their treatment procedures. She also requested to announce vacant positions through newspapers, as to make and maintain a team that would help in serving the population, and to make Sindh a Hepatitis-free province.
During the meeting, the committee was also informed regarding the current Annual Development Program, for which Rs 300 million have been allocated. Out of the total amount, Rs 125 million are for medicines.
Currently, a total number of 19,000 patients of Hepatitis B and C are waiting to undergo treatment, and for this purpose additional funds are required by the concerned authorities.
Furthermore, Dr Pechuho stressed upon the need of large scale advocacy and communication campaigns to create awareness amongst masses regarding the preventive measures to safeguard themselves from Hepatitis and its complications.