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PR No. 222
THE HEALTH FOUNDATION INTRODUCES ITS WORK ON HEPATITIS TO PAKISTANI DIASPORA: ERADICATION OF HEPATITIS B/C IS A NOBLE CAUSE: NAFEES ZAKARIA
Islamabad: February 24, 2020

The High Commission hosted The Health Foundation (THF) on 21 February 2020 UK, where it introduced its work on eradication of Hepatitis B/C from Pakistan. The purpose of the event was to create awareness about the prevalence of this viral disease in Pakistan and get the British Pakistanis involved to support the cause of its elimination. A large number of health professionals, philanthropists, members of the civil society and media persons attended the event, says a Press Release received from London, here today. THF has been working in close collaboration with the public and private partners in the rural and urban areas of Pakistan since 2007. Now The Health Foundation UK Chapter has been registered to support the efforts of The Health Foundation Pakistan for elimination of viral Hepatitis by 2030. In his welcome remarks, High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria appreciated the good work of The Health Foundation and termed it a noble cause. He emphasized the importance of supporting the cause of eradicating Hepatitis B and C from Pakistan. Mr Zakaria called upon the British Pakistanis to play their role and contribute towards THF efforts to eliminate the viral disease from the country. He also commended the role of the pharmaceutical sector of Pakistan in significantly bringing down the prices of the vaccination and related medicines. Dr Saad Khalid Niaz, the Trustee of the Health Foundation UK and founder member gave a presentation explaining the magnitude of the problem. He said Hepatitis B/C in Pakistan needs greater attention. He apprised that THF is working towards eradicating the disease through raising awareness, doing catch up Hepatitis B vaccinations, screening people for Hepatitis B/C and treating patients. So far, The Health Foundation has given awareness through direct communication to about 1000,000 people, provided Hepatitis B vaccination to 430,000 people and given treatment to more than 12,000 patients, Dr Saad informed. Mr Seed Allawala, Chairman and founding member of THF and Dr Abdullah Hoodbhoy, Trustee of the UK Chapter urged the Pakistani Diaspora to come forward and support the cause through their generous donations. The speakers thanked the High Commissioner for providing The Health Foundation a platform to introduce its cause to the Pakistani Diaspora. THF provides free treatment along with screening and diagnosis facilities to Hepatitis B and C patients, gives awareness about the disease and carries out Hepatitis B vaccination in all its project communities. The Government of Pakistan has taken an initiative to scale up provincial Hepatitis elimination programs and one of the Directors of THF, Dr. Huma Qureshi has been appointed as the focal person for Hepatitis.
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