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The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

AKUH Partners with Sindh Government to Eliminate and prevent Hepatitis C and Breast Cancer

<p>​The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) is partnering with the Government of Sindh, Department of Health on eliminating Hepatitis C, a blood-borne, liver infection that can be deadly if not diagnosed and treated in time.</p><p>In a signing ceremony held at the Aga Khan University Hospital on Saturday, 5 May, the Government of Sindh has announced its commitment to support the screening, diagnosis and treatment of thousands of Hepatitis C patients at the Aga Khan University Hospital <strong><a href="/pakistan/medical-and-diagnostics/medical-centres/medical-centres/Pages/default.aspx">Medical Centres</a>​</strong> in Benazirabad and Larkana.</p><p>The Aga Khan University Hospital has taken a leadership role in eliminating <strong><a href="/pakistan/Pages/look-up-diseases.aspx">Hepatitis C</a></strong> in Pakistan through various initiatives. It has also committed to screening and treating all its employees this year for Hepatitis C. </p><p>The Aga Khan University Hospital offers affordable, quality screening, diagnosis and treatment of Hepatitis C through its <strong><a href="/pakistan/patients-families/welfare-zakat-assistance/Pages/welfare-programme.aspx">Patient Welfare program</a></strong> at its Medical Centres in Karachi, Lahore and Rawalpindi. </p><p>Speaking at the signing ceremony, Mr. Fazlullah Pechuho, Secretary, Department of Health, Government of Sindh, stated, &quot;This is an important step in eliminating Hepatitis C in Sindh. This disease is prevalent in Sindh and many of those suffering are extremely poor. I am grateful to join hands with the Aga Khan University Hospital which is known for its robust care and quality and we hope to have get into other such high-impact public-private partnerships with The Aga Khan University Hospital to expand this programme to include other cities including Karachi and also work together to eliminate other diseases.&quot;</p><p>Dr. Faisal Wasim, Assistant Professor, Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Medicine at the Aga Khan University emphasized that while those treated and cured from Hepatitis C can go back to living a regular life, patient cooperation is essential for a successful treatment. </p><p>&quot;Hepatitis C is curable if diagnosed in the early stage and if treated properly. While the duration of the treatment we offer is 3 months, patients are required to be proactive in taking their medication, adopting safe behavior and getting tested regularly and consulting routinely with the doctor as required.&quot;</p><p>The screening and diagnosis of these patients will be done at AKUH&#39;s CAP accredited Clinical Laboratories and doctors consultation and medicines will be provided from AKUH Outpatient Medical Centers located in Benazirabad and Larkana. The government expects about 6,500 patients to receive treatment under this partnership in the selected cities in Sindh. </p><p> In Pakistan, over 20 million people are infected with Hepatitis B and C. Due to the lack of awareness about the disease, insufficient preventive measures and shortage of treatment facilities, the prevalence of the Hepatitis is much higher in Pakistan as compared to other parts of the world.</p><p> Eliminating Hepatitis C is a global health and development priority under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The Hepatitis C virus affects 70-150 million people, globally. People living with the disease are at risk of developing liver complications, including cirrhosis and liver cancer, resulting in an estimated 700,000 deaths annually. Studies show that Hepatitis C can present itself in other ways, including cardiovascular, renal, and metabolic and central nervous system diseases. </p><p>The Aga Khan University Hospital has also received from the Government of Sindh a trailer with a mammography machine that will be upgraded to the latest technology. AKUH will provide low cost mammograms in its breast cancer early detection and prevention program.</p><p>​ </p>