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            The Aga Khan University Hospital Pakistan

Getz Pharma and the Aga Khan University Outreach Health Network join hands to eliminate Hepatitis-C

<p>​Getz Pharma, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies of Pakistan, has signed an agreement to make a significant in-kind donation of medicines to the Aga Khan University Outreach Health Network for its Hepatitis-C Elimination Programme. While following the infection control SOPs for COVID-19, the charitable donation ceremony was held on Friday, 2 April 2021. Khalid Mahmood, Chief Executive Officer, Getz Pharma and Firoz Rasul, President, the Aga Khan University signed the donation agreement. </p><div>
</div><div>Through this donation, the Aga Khan University Outreach Health Network will make high quality and holistic care of Hepatitis-C accessible to patients from low-income households, across Pakistan. Spread across two years, this contribution supports the Aga Khan University Outreach Health Network with its goal of providing free-of cost treatment to 12,000 indigent patients in Karachi, Larkana, Nawabshah, Jacobabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Multan, and Peshawar, through its 11 Outreach Medical Centres in three provinces. In addition to providing free of cost medicines, Getz Pharma is supporting the establishment of a mobile clinic, and a nationwide Hepatitis-C public awareness campaign. </div><div>
</div><div>“While our business goal has always been to provide quality and affordable medicines; we assign our social responsibility an equal priority. Our CSR programs support education and health care for the underprivileged; and preserving our environment and cultural heritage by advancing education, health care and performing arts.”said Khalid Mahmood, CEO, Getz Pharma, while addressing the room at the ceremony. </div><div>
</div><div>“I would like to thank Getz Pharma for this generous contribution to the national cause of Hepatitis-C elimination. Today, we are a step closer to defeating this deadly virus. 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.”  commented Shagufta Hassan, CEO, Aga Khan University Outreach Health Network, Pakistan. </div><div>
</div><div>“Eliminating Hepatitis-C from Pakistan 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 the country.” said Dr. Saeed Hamid, Professor of Medicine, AKU while stressing upon the importance of eliminating Hepatitis-C in Pakistan. </div><div>
</div><div>Hepatitis-C is a liver infection, caused by the Hepatitis-C Virus. It is often called a “silent killer”, because the infection produces few or no symptoms. Pakistan bears the second highest burden of the disease, comprising at least 5 percent of the total population. While antiviral medicines can cure more than 95% of these patients, access to screening, diagnosis and treatment is low in most parts of the country. </div><div>
</div><div>Through the generous support of donors, the Aga Khan University Outreach Health Network’s Hepatitis–C Elimination Programme aims to improve accessibility for Zakat mustehiq and other financially challenged patients. In treating each Hepatitis-C patient, the Aga Khan University Hospital’s Patient Welfare Programme along with Getz Pharma and other corporate partners will together bear 75% of the total cost of treatment with the remainder to be provided by generous donors to AKUH or to the Patients’ Behbud Society for AKUH’s Zakat fund and Patient Welfare Programme. </div><div>
</div><div>Since the Patient Welfare Programme’s inception, 5.4 million patient visits have been supported thanks to the generosity of our donors, with a total PKR 21 billion disbursed. This has enabled needy patients access to quality treatment and care at AKUH hospitals, Medical Centres and Laboratories. With the help and support of individuals and corporations, the Patients’ Behbud Society for AKUH has been able to provide financial assistance of more than PKR 2.08 billion to more than 69,500 Zakat mustehiq patients since its establishment in 2001. </div><div>​
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