Qaim wants a hepatitis-free Sindh during his tenure

KARACHI: There were over three million hepatitis carriers in Sindh when Sindh Chief Minister under special initiative launched Hepatitis Prevention and Control Program in 2009 at a cost of Rs2.7 billion with the objective to take preventive and curative measures and to lunch public awareness campaign.

This was told to a meeting held under the chairmanship of Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah here at the CM House Thursday.

The chief minister directed the health department to increase screening provision and mobilise teams at grass root level for arranging hepatitis screening and vaccination camps, particularly in high risk areas. “You are professionals (doctors) and I hope that would take necessary measures to make Hepatitis Free Sindh by end of my government tenure,” he said.

The meeting was told that a survey was conducted to ascertain the number of Hepatitis in Sindh which revealed that about three million Hepatitis carriers were reported in the province, of them 2.5 percent suffering from the Hepatitis B and 4.9 percent from Hepatitis-C.

The chief minister under his special initiative launched a Rs2.7 billion Hepatitis Prevention and Control Programme from 20008-2011. The programme was started in January 2009 and extended further for another three years, 2011-2014 at a cost of Rs3.315 billion.

Secretary Health Saeed Mangnejo said that around 8,608,400 people in the province have been given Hepatitis -B vaccine so far which include 2.9 million general public,1.9 million high risk population, 170,001 newborn as first dose, 87538 jail inmates, 3,488,708 school going children, 194,000 in the flood hit areas, 6540 Haemophilic Academics Dialysis patients and 10,201 during users people.

Replying to a question, the Programme Manager Dr Khaliq Shaikh said under the programme 462,365 patients treatment have been completed, of them 154,405 were of Hepatitis- C patients, 14,636 of Hepatitis-B and 3,638 of Hepatitis -D. Apart from it 26418 patients are under treatment, including 17,890 of Hepatitis-C, 88,347 of B and 181 of Hepatitis-D.

He said that under the programme 300,000 school going children were vaccinated in September and October 2015 their third doze is due in February 2016. “We are have also vaccinated 2165 jail inmates recently.

Minister Health Jam Mehtab Dahar said that under the programme 20.7 million auto-destructible (ADs) have been provided to districts to promote use of AD syringes and discourage reuse. “In order create public awareness 154 awareness sessions have been conducted in jails and sub-jails.

He said that he has worked out a plan to establish Molecular Lab at Nawabshah, and new six centres at taluka hospitals of different districts.

The meeting was attended by Senior Minister for Finance & energy Syed Murad Ali Shah, health Minister Jam Mehtab Dahar, Advisor for Information Mola Bux Chandio, additional Chief Secretary (Dev) Aijaz Ali Khan, Principal Secretary Alamuddin Bullo, Secretary Finance Sohail Rajput, Secretary Health Saeed Mangnijo and head of vertical programme going on under Health department.