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Hepatitis B and C Screening: MoU Signed for Organizing Countrywide Free Medical Camps

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LAHORE– A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between the University of Health Sciences(UHS), Pakistan Society of Internal Medicine(PSIM) and Sarwar Foundation, on Tuesday, regarding setting up of free medical camps in the country with special focus on screening the people for hepatitis B and hepatitis C,  two forms of hepatitis that can become chronic and lead to serious liver damage without treatment.

The Punjab governor’s wife, Begum Parveen Sarwar and UHS VC Prof. Javed Akram signed the agreement.

Talking to media persons on the occasion, Prof. Javed Akram said that the Sarwar Foundation was doing a great job by providing the poor people access to quality healthcare and clean drinking water in the province. He announced that free medical camps would be set up across the country in collaboration with the foundation.

He further said that whenever the Sarwar Foundation wanted to set up a medical camp anywhere in the country, UHS and PSIM would provide doctors and other medical facilities there. Prof. Javed Akram welcomed the decision of Smart Lockdown by the government.

“Many precious lives were lost due to negligence on Eid-ul-Fitr”, said Prof. Javed Akram adding that the desire for new clothes and new shoes lead to the death of thousands of people all over the country.

While attributing the tripartite agreement to World Hepatitis Day, UHS VC said that hepatitis was on the rise in the country. “About 10 per cent of the population in Pakistan is infected with hepatitis B and C and there are millions of people who do not even know they have hepatitis”, he added.

Prof. Javed Akram further said that one million people would be screened in the next one year through the medical camps under the agreement. He said that hepatitis patients would also be provided with free medicine and treatment. Prof. Javed Akram said that people all over Punjab could contact him wherever they needed a medical camp.

Begum Parveen Sarwar said that the drive aimed at “finding out the missing millions” of people who did not even know that they were suffering from this disease. She said that she came across a village in Toba Tek Singh where not a single house was safe from hepatitis. The wife of the Punjab governor said that having launched the Hepatitis Free Punjab programme, her organisation’s new commitment was Hepatitis Free Pakistan. Begum Parveen Sarwar added that these free medical camps would make it easier to find tens of thousands of hepatitis patients.

The event was attended by Pakistan Medical Association president, Prof. Ashraf Nizami, Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry president, Lubna Bhayat, UHS registrar, Dr Asad Zaheer, controller of examinations, Dr Saqib Mehmood and King Edward Medical University(KEMU) associate professor, Dr Sara Afzal.

Later, Begum Parveen Sarwar addressed a seminar on World Hepatitis Day at King Edward Medical University through video link.— PRESS RELEASE