Chronic hepatitis B and hepatitis C are life-threatening infectious diseases that may cause serious liver damage, liver cancer, and premature death. It is estimated that 257 million people live with hepatitis B and 71 million people live with hepatitis C globally. Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are responsible for more than half of all new liver cancer cases and one in every 12 cancer deaths. Eliminating hepatitis B and C as public health threats by 2030 will prevent 36 million infections and save 10 million lives. Each year Viral Hepatitis (A-E) is responsible for 1.34 million deaths. In comparison, TB (1.2 million), HIV/AIDS (1 million) and Malaria (719,000) deaths annually. “Unlike tuberculosis and HIV, the number of deaths due to viral hepatitis is on the increase. Indeed, with yearly new hepatitis C infections – 1.75 million – outnumbering the patients starting treatment in the same period – 1.1 million – it is unlikely that the viral hepatitis epidemic will simply fade away” Viral hepatitis is a silent epidemic. It is estimated 80% of those affected with Hepatitis C, and >90% of Hepatitis B affected are unaware. Pakistan has the 2nd largest hepatitis C disease burden in the world. Approximately 7.1 Million hepatitis C cases are present in Pakistan, which covers about 10% of the global HCV burden. There are several challenges that hinder elimination of hepatitis C from Pakistan including the lack of patient awareness about the causes and transmission of disease, lack of affordability for investigations and drug treatment and lack of experienced healthcare professionals. Efforts are needed to educate the public about the modes of transmission and prevention of HCV infection, and massively upscale screening along with treatment. There is a dire need to prevent more than 200,000 new infections that occur each year in Pakistan. Given the scale of the problem, it is very unlikely that the government alone can handle it. There is a strong need to speed up the HCV diagnosis and find the missing millions living with HCV. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are playing a significant role in the fight against hepatitis across the globe. There is no funding specifically allocated for the NGOs’ work on hepatitis elimination in Pakistan.
PARSA Trust is a registered Not-For-Profit company (under section 42 of the Companies Act, 2017) established to aid hepatitis elimination efforts in Pakistan. The Clinic is located at Al-Rae Hospital, Noshehra Road Gujranwala
The PARSA Trust runs a daily clinic for patients suffering from gastro-intestinal and liver diseases. The clinic is located at Al-Raee Hospital, Nowshehra Road Gujranwala.The fee is waived immediately if patient is unable to pay
Our dedicated social worker interviews the family and makes recommendation for funding. Special care is taken to process this in a matter that does not cause embarrassment or disturbs the ego of the patient.A quick processing of the application is ensured.
1- “Hepatitis micro-elimination project, Garjakh” – We reached out to a community of 2500 residents in a densely populated area in garjakh, Gujranwala. Free screening and treatment of all positive hepatitis c patients was carried out. The Project was funded by philanthropists of the city and had tremendous support by local Nazim and community workers. It was a huge success, and the work was accepted for presentation in American Association for Study of Liver Disease Annual Meeting 2019 in Boston, USA. This was a moment of pride not only for PARSA Trust, but also for Pakistan.
2. A similar project is currently underway in Verpal Chattha, which is a village about 45 minutes’ drive from Gujranwala. PARSA team is not only aiming screening or treatment, but also working to raise awareness about hepatitis in local community and prevent spread of disease.
3. From 9th to 11th April 2019, PARSA Trust donated 100 ration bags to Teach for Pakistan fellows which were further distributed to a low income community in Noor Pur Shahan, Bari Imam, Islamabad. These community consists of daily wagers whose source of income had depended mainly on the Bari Imam shrine which closed during the pandemic. Many families had either been employed as labor or had been struggling with finding employment even prior to COVID-19. Families in need were identified by community leaders, school principals and Teach for Pakistan fellows. The fellows, along with some community leaders, conducted 3 ration drives at Islamabad Model School for Boys (I-X) Noor Pur Shahan. People were called in small groups to collect the ration bags ensuring social distancing protocols.
4. Our community efforts do not end here, a number of similar projects are in pipeline.
1. Clinical Director: Dr. Asad A Choudhry
2. Medical officers: Dr. Kainat Khalid, Dr. Auj
3. Social Worker: Mr. Chaudhry Luqman
4. Staff Nurses: Ms Catherine
5. Endoscopy Unit: Mr. Muzzamil Hussain
6. Administration Office: Mr. Ghulam Abbas, Ms. Sana