Vaccine Preventable Diseases

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What is Hepatitis-B?

Hepatitis B is a potentially life-threatening liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus. It is a major global health problem. It can cause chronic liver disease and chronic infection and puts people at high risk of death from cirrhosis of the liver and liver cancer.

What are the symptoms of Hepatitis-B?

Abdominal pain, Dark urine, Fever, Joint pain, Loss of appetite, Nausea and vomiting, Weakness and fatigue, Yellowing of your skin and the whites of your eyes (jaundice).

What is the global scenario like?

More than 240 million people have chronic (long-term) liver infections. About 600 000 people all over the world die every year due to the acute or chronic consequences of hepatitis B.

What is Hepatitis-B’s status in Pakistan?

It is estimated that nearly four million people in the country have been exposed to hepatitis B virus. The Pakistan Medical Research Council undertook a national general population survey in 2007-2008 on the actual prevalence of hepatitis B (HBsAg) with a prevelance rate of 2.5%.

How do you prevent Hepatitis-B?

Timely vaccination can prevent you from the Hepatitis B virus. This vaccine was introduced in Pakistan Government’s EPI program in 2009. It has replaced the previous DPT and Hepatitis B vaccine. Three doses of this vaccine are given to children in Pakistan in the first year for free, at 6 weeks, 10 weeks and 14 weeks of age. As with almost all other vaccines, if the dose(s) is missed, it can be given later as well.

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