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Punjab government swings into action to tackle hepatitis cases

July 9, 2019
 

Photo: AFP

The Punjab government has swung into action to tackle the rising number of hepatitis patients in the province. 

The Punjab Health Care Commission has arrested over 30,000 quakes in the last two years and heavily penalised them. The commission has been conducting free medical tests for hepatitis in Lahore and is providing people with free medicines too. Clean water is being distributed to people’s houses too. It plans to eradicate hepatitis from the province by 2030.

“Hepatitis is a transmissible disease that can be spread through blood,” said emergency care specialist Dr Falak Qadir. A simple pedicure could spread deadly infections and diseases, she remarked.

Related: Four new polio cases emerge in KP and Balochistan

Most beauty parlors and hairdresser salons operate in an unhygienic way and use unsterilised tools.

“Cuts are common during manicure and pedicure, and the same kit is used again,” she said while speaking SAMAA TV’s morning show Naya Din on Tuesday.

Qadir added that proper sterilization of tools could reduce the chances of the disease. However, sterilisation is expensive and is therefore not used by salons and even some hospitals.The doctor suggested that people purchase their own kit and carry it to the salon.

To curb the threat, the Punjab government has made it necessary for all beauty parlours and barber shops in Lahore to get registered and obtain licences. The owners can now contact relevant deputy district health officers and register with them. It has made it necessary for them to do so as part of the Punjab Hepatitis Act, 2018. The law was passed in order to ensure that necessary steps are taken to control the spread of the virus.

Related: Government to issue health cards to everyone

The owner of barber shops and beauty parlours must file a registration form and then conduct medical tests for their staff members. They are even required to get a medical fitness certificate to remain eligible for running their respective businesses.

Dr Qadir said that hospitals should add sterilisation machines to meet the basic healthcare requirements as hepatitis can be spread through contaminated injections during medical procedures, and through injection drug use.

Hepatitis B and C are usually transmitted through exposure to infected blood, according to Healthline.

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