Solutions Pakistan is proud of being the implementing partner of the US Centers for Disease Control CDC – Atlanta grant on “Evaluating the implementing of birth dose of hepatitis B in KP-Pakistan”
Hepatitis B causes nearly 800,000 deaths per anum globally, which are heavily concentrated in South Asia (160,000) and Sub-Saharan Africa (90,000). While Hepatitis C is curable with the advent of new drugs, Hep B remains the point of concern because the risk of developing chronic infection like chronic liver disease, cirrhosis and liver carcinoma.
Risk of developing chronic infection varies with age at the exposure; 80-90% of infants infected during their first year of life develop chronic infections, as opposed to 30-50% risk if child is infected before the age of 6 years and 1-5% risk if exposure occurs in later ages.
The risk of perinatal infection is up to 90% and 80-90 % of these new borns end up having chronic disease like liver cancer. Therefore, Hep B infection is associated with a huge morbidity mortality, economic cost along with significant loss to productivity for any country. These perinatal infections can be prevented with a highly efficacious and low-cost vaccine.
WHO recommends that all infants should receive their first dose of Hep B-BD as soon as possible after birth, preferably within 24 hours. Despite WHO recommendations till 2015 only 96 out of 194 countries reported offering HepB-BD as part of their national immunization program.
The uptake of routine vaccination increased over the last 5 years, from 54% in 2012-13 to 66% in 2017-18.
In recognition of the increasing burden of Hepatitis and especially the impact of Hep B Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) took the initiative to introduce the birth dose in its EPI Program in 2016.
A mixed method analysis is planned in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during 2020 to determine the effectiveness of the overall program framework for evaluation will determine its success, challenges and applicability for scaling up at national level. The key components of evaluation are based on:
- Stakeholders identification and engagement
- Program description
- Design evaluation
- Data collection, coalition and compilation
- Drawing conclusions
- Dissemination of results for making program effective and strategizing its scale up.
Solutions Pakistan stands resolved to be a contributor towards the national cause of Elimination of Hepatitis in Pakistan by 2030.