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July 28, 2018
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Walk held for hepatitis awareness

Karachi

July 28, 2018

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A group of young volunteers from the Sina Foundation, the Health Foundation and students staged a walk for over a kilometer beginning at the McDonalds fast food chain at Sea View and southwards.

The walk was meant to be a curtain-raiser to World Hepatitis Day falling today (Saturday). The volunteers, numbering about 100, carried banners highlighting the crying need to come to grips with the problem and make the country hepatitis-free, at least to as much an extent as possible.

Sina, named after the Persian medical pioneer, Ibne Sina, is a primary healthcare facility run purely on a voluntary, philanthropic basis with donations from the affluent and has 26 clinics all over Karachi in the least privileged areas.

Talking to The News, Sara Emmanuel, the Marketing Director of Sina, told this correspondent that these clinics were headed by doctors and most of the job and orientation was done by expert nursing staff.

All the clinics combined, she said, received over 3,000 patients daily. The total fee charged from a patient, she said, was Rs20 which included medical advice, laboratory tests and further treatment. Patients, she said, were provided free medication.

Asked as to what the causative factors were behind the spread of all forms of hepatitis, she said that the first and foremost factor was the mass insanitary conditions of filth and squalor that we find all over the place. Another reason, according to her, is the utter lack of hygiene in the small-scale eateries and restaurants where due attention was not paid to washing the dishes and utensils, unsatisfactory mode of storing edible items, lack of personal hygiene like handling the eatables immediately after wiping the nasal discharge with bare hands, and most of all, the barber shops where barbers used the same razor for different clients and a client suffering from the disease could pass the infection on to others.

The spread of the disease through razors, she said, was so lethal that, leave aside a cut in the skin, even a tiny lesion could transmit the infection. All the clinics, she said, were sponsored by donors. All the young volunteers this correspondent talked to made the same resolve to do their best to at least mitigate the menace.

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