Pakistan is hepatitis’ worst victim due to contaminated blood transfusions. The Safe Blood Transfusion Programme (SBTP) celebrated World Hepatitis Day with a seminar held on Friday in Islamabad. They underlined the fast spread of this disease. As Pakistan is one of the most significant victims of hepatitis, it is an important day.
World Hepatitis Day
NGOs, representatives of blood banks, university and college students, blood donor organizations and other partners participated in the seminar. Professor Hasan Abbas Zaheer from National Coordinator SBTP held a presentation about the regional, national and global aspects of this disease’s epidemic while describing what it should be done to prevent it. World Health Organisation-led the international effort and all member states support it.
After a charitable federation suggested that ten children contracted HIV after getting transfusions for a blood disease, the unregulated blood from blood banks became the spotlight.
Thalassemia is a disease that makes the levels of protein in the blood decrease. 22,000 children suffering from it need regular transfusions, according to the Thalassaemia Federation of Pakistan.
The situation is being investigated by the Government officials without confirming the case. The head of the state-run Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences, Jayed Akram, said all patients who need regular transfusions oversight the blood supply.
It is not just about hepatitis
250,000 kidney patients aside from the Pakistan’s thalassemia patients need regular blood transfusions, according to Akram.
“Of all patients requiring regular blood transfusions for survival, about 20 percent have hepatitis B or C. A few also have HIV,” he said. “They are desperate for blood. Most of them can’t get it safely.”
He made an estimation, and 20 percent of thalassemia patients had hepatitis C and B along with 1 percent of them who also got infected with HIV.