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The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Eliminate Hepatitis – Spread the Word, Eliminate the Disease

 
​<span style="font-family: helvetica;">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 <g class="gr_ gr_37 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Grammar only-ins doubleReplace replaceWithoutSep" id="37" data-gr-id="37">shortage</g> of treatment facilities, the prevalence of hepatitis is much higher in Pakistan as compared to other parts of the world.</span><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica;">
</span><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Every year, 28th July is celebrated as World Hepatitis Day across the globe. This year, The Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) <g class="gr_ gr_73 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="73" data-gr-id="73">organised</g> an informative session about Hepatitis to create awareness about the disease and encourage people to help spread the word and join the efforts to eliminate it. The session, held at The Aga Khan University Auditorium, was attended by about 250 people seeking information on Hepatitis prevention and treatment options.</span><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica;">
</span><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The awareness program was opened by Dr. Om Prakash, Assistant Professor, Gastroenterology. He gave the audience an introduction to the disease and elaborated on the signs and symptoms of chronic viral Hepatitis B and C. Dr. Saeed Hamid, <g class="gr_ gr_79 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="79" data-gr-id="79">Professor</g> and Chair, Department of Medicine, then took the podium and presented the audience with treatment options. His talk was followed by an overview of testing and diagnostic options by Dr. Zahra Hassan, Professor &amp; Section Head, Molecular Pathology. In the end, Dr. Rustam Khan, Assistant Professor, Medicine, guided the attendees on what steps they should take to prevent viral hepatitis.</span><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica;">
</span><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Next, Ms. Laila Khymani, Senior Administrator, Outreach Medical Centres, also informed the audience about AKUH’s ECHO program that provides <g class="gr_ gr_82 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="82" data-gr-id="82">low cost</g> Hepatitis treatment to patients at the AKUH Medical Centres in Karachi, <g class="gr_ gr_81 gr-alert gr_gramm gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim Punctuation only-ins replaceWithoutSep" id="81" data-gr-id="81">Lahore</g> and Rawalpindi.  Under this <g class="gr_ gr_84 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling multiReplace" id="84" data-gr-id="84">specialised</g> program, The Aga Khan University Hospital provides expert consultation and diagnostic services to help people get timely diagnosis and treatment at affordable rates. By providing easy access to medical care, the ECHO program has helped hundreds of people suffering from Hepatitis, get cured and lead a healthy life.</span><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;"></span><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Speaking about how the ECHO program has helped a former patient, Mr. Naveed Anjum <g class="gr_ gr_40 gr-alert gr_spell gr_inline_cards gr_run_anim ContextualSpelling ins-del multiReplace" id="40" data-gr-id="40">Jaffri</g>, said, “I was diagnosed with Hepatitis C in September 2016. It was frightening to know that I had the disease, but then I visited AKUH Medical Centre, Rashid Minhas Road, where Dr. Waqar Shah initiated my treatment. The treatment spanned 6 months and now I am completely cured. I am grateful to AKUH for their ECHO program that allowed me to get timely diagnosis and treatment and that too at affordable rates!”</span></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;"></span><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica;">Another patient, Mr. Mubarak Ali, is currently undergoing treatment and shared similar experiences. He said, “I found out about my illness some four months ago. I felt so helpless due to lack of guidance as well as the high cost of treatment. Then, a friend helped me get an appointment with Dr. Waqar Shah at AKUH Medical Centre on Rashid Minhas Road. He guided me and gave me hope that with proper medication I could be cured. I am currently undergoing treatment under the AKUH ECHO program. I am now hopeful that I will soon be Hepatitis-free.”</span><br style="font-family: helvetica;"/><span style="font-family: helvetica;">
</span></div><div><span style="font-family: helvetica;">The talks were followed by a highly engaging Question and Answer session where the audience asked questions and a panel of AKUH faculty and staff, answered their queries. Audience feedback collected at the end of the session revealed that the talks were well received. The audience felt their knowledge about the disease increased as did their understanding on how important it was to create awareness about Hepatitis and eliminate it.</span></div></div></div></div>