Ratodero, Sindh: Hepatitis continues to spread in upper Sindh, as the cases of this fatal disease are on a steep rise in whole province. According to figures obtained by PPI out of 16259 blood samples sent to the PCR Sentinel site of Chandka Medical College Hospital (CMCH) Larkana, as many as 6789 cases were found positive in one year. These patients are suffering either from B, C or D. These figures belong to July 2012 to June 2013 period only.
Former Chairman of Department of Medicine, Benazir Bhutto Medical University (BBMU) & Chandka Medical College Larkana, and now Head of Department of Medical Unit-I, CMC and Hospital, Professor Hakim Ali Abro has already warned that hepatitis is going to become epidemic in Sindh province and huge mortality is expected if preventive measures are not taken on war footing.
The detected cases belong to Larkana, Jacobabad, Kambar, Shikarpur, Bhirya City, Naushehro Feroze, Kandhkot, Mirpur Mathelo, Ghotki, Dadu, Mehar, Khairpur Nathan Shah, Sukkur, Jacobabad OPD, Citi Lab of Karachi, and Central Jails of Larkana, Jacobabad and Shikarpur.
Out of 4696 HBV (DNA) Quantitative blood samples as many as 1503 cases were found positive, out of 9822 samples 4308 were detected suffering from HCV (RNA) Qualitative. Out of 1333 HDV (RNA) 660 samples were found positive and out of 409 cases 318 were found suffering from HCV (RNA) Genotyping, which indeed is worrisome for the rulers.
The ratio of positive tested cases has reached to 41.75% which could be termed as a slap on the face of the concerned powers as they have done nothing for the health of their citizens which is their basic right as people pay taxes imposed on them by their rulers without protests. Taxes are not paid for sitting in the air-conditioned rooms or the voters do not vote in favour of their favourite political leaders to get elected to the power and start living luxurious lives but in return they have to deliver or should be taken to task if they fail in discharging their basic duties.
Reliable sources told PPI that Interferon vaccine supplied by the Chief Ministers Hepatitis Programme is not available at this sentinel site since last four months including many other districts of the province and the CMC Hospital administration is managing it by borrowing from nearby districts including Kambar-Shahdadkot so that running & registered patients treatment is not hindered. Sources further disclosed that tender has been floated which is due by the end of current month. No new cases are being entertained at this site owing to non-availability of the treatment drugs.
Prof Dr. Hakim Ali Abro while talking to media has warned that Hepatitis has reached to a very alarming situation and it is like a ticking bomb which when exploded will cause widespread destruction and irreparable loss of precious lives.
Retired Prof of Medicine Akbar Solangi has said that preventive measures are almost zero which must be enforced with full vigor without losing further time as laws are already available otherwise it will soon turn into an epidemic.
A visit to the Hepatology & Medical Wards showed that half of the indoor related patients were those who had completed their treatment course but were again diagnosed suffering from the same killer disease which showed that the injections procured by the government were of low quality and their efficacy is a still question mark which must be addressed during the next purchases and those should be brought to justice who are found involved in buying bad quality medicines during last five years.
The Sindh Government will have to tackle this problem on war footings with utmost care by posting honest senior dedicated doctors during procurement & treatment process at all districts and simultaneously District Health Officers in the province will have to be geared up afresh to ensure enforcement of preventive measures. An aggressive drive against the illegal blood banks & quacks in Larkana and other affected towns is suggested by the medical practitioners.