The World Health Organization estimates that there are 520 million people worldwide with chronic hepatitis B or C infection, and Pakistan is among the nations most afflicted.
Various factors can lead to hepatitis, or liver inflammation, and hepatitis B and C are among the main causes of severe liver disease.
Given the importance of this health issue, the BCP Pakistan team planned a day of free screening for hepatitis B and C for the students of a local girls’ high school. The screening was extended to the girls’ parents and the surrounding community as well.
A team including a medical officer, four paramedics and 10 BCP volunteers offered their services to make the activity a success.
A total of 226 people were screened, and three tested positive for hepatitis B and seven for hepatitis C. The people who tested positive were counseled on the next steps to take in order to treat the disease.
The medical officer and volunteers also held awareness sessions with the students and other visitors, giving them information about hepatitis, including its symptoms, treatment and prevention.
Ayesha Kanwal was one of the participating students. “I am grateful to BCP for this initiative of providing health awareness to the students,” she said. “Firstly, we are satisfied after the screening that we are healthy and, secondly, we can pass this knowledge on to others on how they can protect themselves against hepatitis B and C. I am confident that BCP will continue such activities in future as well.”