sight since the governments neither have the will nor the wherewithal to
control this disease
The press is full of discussions about Ebola, dengue fever, polio and
whatever other disease catches the fancy of our media and our ‘ruling
class’ at any given time. I do not for a moment wish to denigrate the
efforts to control any disease especially the ones I mention above. But
there are other health problems that do not get adequate coverage. And
no, I am not referring to a simple matter like waterborne diseases that
could be controlled if clean water became available for people to drink.
Let me mention a particular condition that afflicts close to 12
million Pakistanis, more than 20000 new patients acquire this disease
every year; a number greater than in any other country in the world, and
more than 400 Pakistanis die from this disease every day. And in the
Punjab alone there are more than six million people infected with the
viruses causing this disease. What disease is this? Well dear readers if
you have not figured it out yet, it is what we call Hepatitis C.
(Statistics from Jang-Mera Shahr Lahore, October 28, 2014).
Statistics presented in a conference on Hep C held under the aegis of
the Punjab Department of Health and as reported in the news item
mentioned above suggest that the world over, on the average, one person
receives one or two injections every year. However, in Pakistan, the
average is between 13 and 14 injections every year and 70 percent of
these injections are given using unsterilized needles or syringes.