District: (Health department tests the patience of hepatitis and diabetes)

SIALKOT: All the hepatitis and diabetic patients have been suffering from great ordeal in getting their anti-hepatitis medical treatment due to the prolonged non-availability of anti hepatitis vaccine and insulin in all the government DHQ, THQ hospitals, Rural Health Centers (RHCs) and Basic Health Units (BHUs) here in Sialkot district.

The senior officials of Sialkot health department confirmed on Sunday that hepatitis vaccine was not available in Sialkot district’s all the government hospitals for the last four consecutive months, while the insulin for the diabetic patients was not available there for the last one month.

There had been no anti-hepatitis vaccine available at Sialkot’s both of the DHQ hospitals which were also enjoying the status of teaching hospitals namely Govt. Allama Iqbal Memorial Teaching Hospital Sialkot and Govt. Sardar Begum Memorial Teaching Hospital Sialkot, the THQ hospitals in Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur, 88 Basic Health Units (BHUs), 10 Rural Health Centers (RHCs) and the health dispensaries for the last four consecutive months.

The hepatitis patients, most of them the poor and deserving patients, have allegedly been left at the mercy of the height of negligence of concerned officials of the provincial health department, which still remain unable to ensure the early provision of the anti-hepatitis vaccine here.

While, the diabetic patients were also suffering from great difficulties in getting insulin for their treatment. No insulin was available at any government hospital in Sialkot district, while the insulin was also lying short at the private medical stores in Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial, Pasrur, Badiana, Chawinda and surrounding areas for the last one month.

The local social, religious and political circles have expressed grave concern over this critical situation. They have urged the Punjab Chief Minister Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif, Commissioner Gujranwala Division Khawaja Shamail Ahmed and Sialkot DCO Nadeem Sarwar to ensure the early provision of the anti-hepatitis vaccine here in the larger interest of the patients.

According to the concerned officials, as many as 3200 hepatitis patients have yet been registered at this center since its establishment in 2007. They said that there was no anti-hepatitis vaccine and treatment there at this center for the last four months.

When contacted, DHO Sialkot Dr. Javaid Warraich confirmed that there had been no anti hepatitis vaccine in government health facility in Sialkot district for the last four consecutive months and non-availability of insulin for diabetic patients there for the last one month. DHO added that the insulin was available in emergency wards of DHQ and THQ hospitals in Sialkot district mean for only the diabetics in emergency.

“We have repeatedly brought this nasty situation into the notice of the high ups of the provincial health department, urging them to ensure the early provision of the anti hepatitis vaccine and insulin in Sialkot district’s government hospitals, but they have not yet provided the said vaccine and insulin to be given the patients in Sialkot district”, he added.

Dr. Javaid Warraich added that the uncontrolled usage of the contaminated and unhygienic was the major reasons behind the this larger scale spreading of hepatitis among the people in Sialkot district’s all the four Sialkot, Daska, Sambrial and Pasrur tehsils. The non-availability of the better cleanliness facilities also favours this nasty situation.

He disclosed that most of the hepatitis victims are the youth (between the age of 16 to 24 years), married and house hold women and their children (especially in the rural areas) and the old men. He said that the Sialkot district health department would also soon launch an anti hepatitis awareness raising campaign in the all the urban and rural areas of Sialkot district, as the awareness could also be helpful in controlling the rapid growth of the hepatitis in the area.

Meanwhile, a Daska based Senior Medical Specialist Dr. Farha Kamran said that the “silent killer” Hepatitis C is rapidly spreading in Sialkot region, saying that most of the people were found as the victims, carrying Hepatitis C virus. This nasty situation should be an eye opener and point of grave concern for every segment of the society, she added.

Addressing an anti hepatitis awareness raising seminar held at Daska, Dr. Farha Kamran added that the people carrying Hepatitis C virus were moving towards the death. She revealed that the illicit sexual relations, unpurified water, junk foods, non-conducive environment, trash heaps and less care were the big causes behind the rapid spreading of Hepatitis C in the society.

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