Introduction

Liver diseases are common in Pakistan and are mostly caused by viruses that specifically target the liver. About 90 to 95% of the general population has been exposed to Hepatitis A virus before the age of 15 years, mostly due to unsafe drinking water, fortunately, this does not cause a lasting liver injury. More worrying is that 7.5% (or nearly 15 million people) of the adult population suffer from Chronic Liver Diseases due to Hepatitis C (5%) and Hepatitis B (2.5%). These are sp[read by unsafe injection techniques (including drips) and other contaminated medical instruments, tattooing, ear or nose piercings, blood and blood p[roduct transfusions, intravenous drug use, unsafe sexual practices and from mother to child during childbirth. Left untreated these can lead to liver failure and cancer. This is the second biggest burden of liver diseases in the world only after China, and most of the sufferers do not know that they have a deadly disease lurking in their bodies.

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