HYDERABAD: A fragile health system in Sindh has claimed the lives of 1,340 children in the last few years, according to a document submitted by the Sindh health secretary to the Sindh High Court (SHC), and this year’s conditions would hurt the people of Sindh even further due to lack of healthcare facilities, hospitals, dispensaries, particularly in the rural region. Reportedly, a large number of people have been suffering from thalassemia, hepatitis, malaria, dengue and other diseases.A growing pool of patients in the healthcare sector has intensified chaos as many existing hospitals were handed over to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), which could not manage the services effectively. Consequently, thousands of patients had died during the ten years of Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) tenure. Considering the overall health system in Pakistan, healthcare has always been one of the most neglected sectors, with the country spending 0.5 to 0.8pc of its GDP on health for more than a decade as compare to the World Health Organisation’s benchmark for health expenditure which is at least 6pc of the GDP.With such an inadequate allocation, the provincial governments could not afford to meet the health requirements even in the public hospitals. As a result, a large number of private hospitals have emerged in the country. Particularly in Thar region, hundreds of children suffering from thalassemia have been dying due to lack of medicines and healthcare units.In the district of Thatta, thalassemia claimed another 200 lives of the total 600 patients. According to a research, the disease has been spreading in the rural region of Sindh.However, the provincial government did not establish even a single unit so far to control the spread or treat the patients. In 2016, a petition was filed in SHC by a father of a child suffering from thalassemia, in which he appealed to establish a Thalassmia Center in Thatta, but to no avail.Meanwhile, the parents of several infected children demanded the provincial government to treat their children on state expenditure.LUMHS observes World Hepatitis DayThe Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences (LUMHS) on Monday observed the World Hepatitis Day to raise awareness amongst the general public about Hepatitis in Hyderabad.Reportedly, the vice-chancellor Prof Dr Bikha Ram Devrajani expressed his views while addressing the participants, and said that the World Hepatitis Day aims to interlink the world to increase awareness about the disease, its causes, treatment and impacts. “The theme of the day is ‘Eliminate Hepatitis’,” he said, adding that the viruses of Hepatitis B and C were the leading causes of liver cancer in the world, and more than 80 percent of the infected patients do not get proper treatment.“The virus has not confined itself to a specific region or race, but became a global epidemic,” he said, adding that effective vaccines and treatments are available.About 290 million out of the total 325 million people, infected with hepatitis in the world, are unaware that they are infected with hepatitis. Therefore, the awareness campaign can be beneficial in terms of educating people, influencing national screening policies and urging its proper diagnostic process.Published in Daily Times, July 31st 2018.