Sunday, March 20, 2011

10 per cent of Pakistan’s population suffering from Hepatitis

KARACHI: An estimated 10 per cent of Pakistan’s population of 160 million is suffering from Hepatitis, which shows high prevalence of the disease in the country. Five per cent of the troubled individuals have hepatitis C.

Pakistani scientists, working in the area of health biotechnology are conducting research to find out cheap medicine for treatment of this fatal disease, Dr. Mazhar Iqbal of National Institute for Biotechnology and Genetics Engineering (NIBGE), Faisalabad said while delivering a lecture at Latif Ebrahim Jamal (LEJ) National Science Information Center, Karachi University (KU).

Dr Mazhar Iqbal is currently working as Principal Scientist and Group Leader: Drug Discovery and Structural Biology at Health Biotechnology Division of NIBGE.

Pakistan Biotechnology Information Centre organized the lecture to promote the new discipline among the scientists.

Director International Centre for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS), KU, Prof Dr. M Iqbal Choudhary, Prof Dr. Khalid M Khan and other scientists were also present.

Dr. Mazhar said that the prevalence of the disease in the country was really a point of concern for our health policy makers. It is pertinent to mention here that the spread of hepatitis in the country is just because of the re-use of disposable syringes, transfusion of unscreened blood and use of contaminated equipment in (medical) facilities.

The scientist said that in collaboration with western scientists NIBGE was trying to form a cheap medicine especially for the treatment of Hepatitis C. He said that several natural compounds and chemicals have found that have anti-cancer and anti-viral agents.

It is also pertinent to mention here that Pakistani nation have been benefited from biotechnology, in terms of jobs generation, increased national wealth, and better healthcare for their masses. — PPI

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