The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Minister for Information and Health Shoukat Ali Yousafzai has stated that Hepatitis C is the most dangerous disease as compared to terrorism and has affected more than 7 per cent population of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. He said efforts were needed to control this disease not only with treatment but to know causes of its spread and making the general masses aware in time without which the disease could touch to a destructive level.
He was addressing a seminar on International Hepatitis Day arranged by the Mir Khalilur Rahman Memorial Society (Jang Group) at Rawalpindi on Monday. The Federal Minister of State Afzal Tarar and Hepatitis C experts Professor Dr. Muzaffar Latif Gul and Prof. Dr. Shuaib Shafi also addressed the seminar and openly spoke on the causes and prevention of this fatal ailment. The expert stated that Hepatitis C virus had been found in more than 20 million people in Pakistan and the figure was increasing day by day. They stressed the need for urgent measures on the government level to curb the disease.
The provincial health minister termed the Hepatitis C as “silent killer” and disclosed that in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 1.680 million people were suffering from Hepatitis B while 0.480 million people had Hepatitis C disease. He said unluckily the ratio of this fatal disease was high in Peshawar. He said the health policy of PTI provincial government was in the final stages and in which attention had been given to the prevention of Hepatitis C, Cancer, AIDS and Diabetes like diseases.
Shoukat Yousafzai said this year they had increased the budget of the health sector to Rs. 8 billion and started health reforms in the sector. He said making emergency services free of cost in all the hospitals, decrease had been announced in the laboratory tests including MRI and CT Scan. He said it was the need of the hour that awareness programmes through media, schools and colleges should be started against Hapatitis C. He said treatment of this fatal disease was very expansive and the lay man could not afford the same. He called upon the federal government and the donors agencies to openheartedly assist the people of the Khyber Pakhtnukhwa so that they could face the disease properly.