Monday December 17, 2018

After Egypt, Pakistan stands Second in the world with maximum Hepatitis infected Patients

The symptoms include- fatigue, body ache, decreased appetite and much more. Hepatitis generally spreads through blood transfusion, sexual acts and also virus transmission

Representational Image. Wikimedia
  • 400 million people in all are suffering from Hepatitis across the globe
  • Pakistan is the 2nd most Hepatitis affected country after Egypt
  • There are 5 types of Viral Hepatitis: A, B, C, D, E
  • WHO aims at eliminating this by 90 percent till 2030

Karachi, Sept 15, 2016: Pakistan is facing a tough time dealing with the number of infected people of Hepatitis in the country. 400 million people in total are suffering from this deadly disease across the globe and many of them are not even aware of this.

A study reveals that a million and a half people died of Hepatitis in 2013. WHO aims at eliminating 90% of this disease by 2030.

Pakistan stands 2nd in the world after Egypt in the number of Hepatitis patients. According to Dr. Inayat Adil- a Hepatitis expert from Pakistan- 5 % of Pakistani population suffers from Chronic Hepatitis C infection.

Hepatitis is a  liver disease. The medication for this is available only in centralised hospitals of Pakistan and is quite costly. Many middle-class patients find it difficult in approaching such branded hospitals instead of their local heath care centers. Also, the cost of medication being so high for Hepatitis, there are a number of people who cannot manage to afford the treatment. Local health care centers lack the required drugs.


Karachi alone stands for 1 million patients. Many times, people are not even aware of being infected with the disease and neglect it. And rest of the times the cost acts as a  major hindrance in their intention of getting treated, mentioned a VOA report.

The symptoms include- fatigue, body ache, decreased appetite and much more. Hepatitis generally spreads through blood transfusion, sexual acts and also virus transmission.

Treatment options vary depending upon what kind of viral hepatitis it is. For example, hepatitis B has an effective vaccine, but hepatitis C does not have a vaccine against it.

Medicines Sans Frontieres is an institution in Pakistan, that came into existence from April 2015 and has been successful in treating a lot of people in Karachi. This institute is an initiative to give people an approachable treatment of Hepatitis and is also involved in making people aware of the disease. It is in the local and mostly semi-urban areas of Karachi due to the fact that such areas lack cleanliness, hygiene, resources and basic sanitation facilities.

– by Ayushi Gaur of Newsgram

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U.S. Welcomes Pakistan’s Actions Towards Peace in Afghanistan

Pakistani officials say their influence over the Taliban has significantly declined over the years because the insurgents have gained control over large areas of Afghanistan

Imran Khan, Pakistan, Afghanistan,
Pakistan"s Prime Minister Imran Khan is seen during talks in Beijing, China, VOA

The United States said Saturday it welcomes actions Pakistan is taking to promote a negotiated solution to the war in neighboring Afghanistan.

The acknowledgement came a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan announced his country has arranged another round of Washington’s peace talks with the Afghan Taliban scheduled for Monday.

“The United States welcomes any actions by the Pakistani government to promote greater cooperation, including fostering negotiations between the Taliban, the Afghan government, and other Afghans,” a U.S. embassy spokesperson in Kabul told VOA.

US negotiator

U.S. special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, Zalmay Khalilzad, has met, and will continue to meet, with all interested parties, including the Taliban, to support a negotiated settlement to the conflict in Afghanistan, the spokesperson added.

Neither Khan nor the U.S. spokesperson have disclosed the possible venue for the upcoming meeting with Taliban officials.

Some Afghan sources say Monday’s meeting will take place in Islamabad, but no official confirmation is available.

USA, afghanistan
U.S. special envoy for peace in Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, talks with local reporters at the U.S. embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 18, 2018. VOA

Khalilzad, who is visiting regional countries to gather support for Afghan peace talks, is to lead the U.S. delegation in talks with insurgent representatives. This will not be the first time Khalilzad has met with the Taliban.

Since taking office in September, the special U.S. envoy has held two publicly known rounds of preliminary discussions with insurgent negotiators in Qatar, where the Taliban runs its so-called political office. The talks have been for the sake of talks, according to insurgent and other sources aware of the meetings.

Trump’s letter to Khan

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month wrote a formal letter to Khan asking for his help to bring the Taliban to the table for negotiations. A day later, Khalilzad visited Islamabad where he met with Khan and his military chief, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, to follow-up on Trump’s request, Pakistani officials say.

Speaking in northwestern city of Peshawar on Friday, Khan said the U.S. has changed its tune by requesting help instead of saying Islamabad is not doing enough, as U.S. officials have previously insisted.

“By the grace of Allah, the dialogue is now happening inshallah [God willing] on the 17th [Khan did not mention the month] and Pakistan has facilitated the talks between America and the Taliban,” Khan said. He did not share further details.

taliban, afghanistan
Sher Mohammad Abbas Stanakzai, right, head of the Taliban’s political council in Qatar, takes part in the multilateral peace talks on Afghanistan in Moscow, Nov. 9, 2018. VOA

Khan recounted Friday that critics used to mock him as “Taliban Khan” for saying the Afghan war could not be ended without political negotiations but now all key stakeholders are jointly working to pursue a political settlement to end the violence in Afghanistan.

“If peace were achieved, God willing, Peshawar will change and become a hub of commerce and tourism, as things around the 2,500 years old living city are likely to change,” Khan said Friday.

Ambassador Khalilzad is 13 days into an 18-day visit to the region. He has traveled to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Belgium and plans to visit the U.A.E. and Qatar.

Withdrawal an issue

Pakistani officials privy to the U.S. interaction with the Taliban have told VOA that until now no progress has been achieved because the insurgents adamantly demand “a date or timeframe” for all foreign troops to withdraw from Afghanistan before the Taliban decides to participate in an intra-Afghan peace process.

Also Read: What to Make of Taliban’s Continued Rare Silence on Ghani’s Peace Offer? 

U.S. officials have long maintained Taliban leaders are sheltering in Pakistan with covert support from the country’s intelligence agency. Washington has been urging Islamabad to use its influence to bring the insurgents to the negotiating table.

Pakistani officials say their influence over the Taliban has significantly declined over the years because the insurgents have gained control over large areas of Afghanistan and continue to pose serious battlefield challenges for U.S.-backed Afghan security forces. (VOA)