LAHORE Like other parts of the globe, World Hepatitis Day was observed in the City on Thursday with an aim to raise awareness about hepatitis and encourage prevention, diagnosis and treatment. This years theme was This is hepatitis with the slogan Know it. Confront it. Hepatitis affects everyone, everywhere. According to an estimate, approximately 500 million people worldwide have either hepatitis B or C. Hepatitis kills more than one million people every year. Like other countries, seminars, workshops and walks were organised both at the government and the private levels to raise public awareness about the disease and precautionary measures to avoid the menace. In Lahore, the Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Shaikh Zayed Postgraduate Medical Institute arranged a free screening camp, walk and seminar on prevention and treatment of liver disease. The participants of the seminar were provided free hepatitis screening. Over 500 people were provided necessary tests. SZPMI Chairman and Dean Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal, ex-Dean Dr Anwar A Khan and Prof Altaf Alam led the walk largely participated by medics, nurses, paramedics, medical students and people from various walks of life. Addressing the seminar, leading medics stressed upon the need of effective measures to control the menace. They said that public awareness was a key to control the deadly disease. A public awareness walk was held at Lahore General Hospital in this regard. Post Graduate Medical Institute Principal Prof Dr Tariq Salahuddin, Professor of Medicine Dr Ghiyas-un-Nabi Tayyab, Medical Superintendent Dr Zafar Ikram and a large number of doctors, nurses, paramedics, patients and their attendants participated in the walk. The walk was followed by a seminar at the hospital auditorium. Addressing the seminar, Prof Salahuddin said that hepatitis was a silent killer but a fully curable disease and its early diagnosis followed by timely treatment could recover the patient completely. He informed that every tenth person in the country was carrying this virus. He stressed that optimum resources should be allocated for effective control of this disease besides promoting public awareness campaigns to check the spread of hepatitis. He said that doctors especially family physicians could play an effective role in creating public awareness. If we promote the slogan 'prevention is better than cure, the expenditures on health can be minimised, he said. Prof Ghiyas Un-Nabi Tayyab informed that Hepatitis Clinic has been established at LGH where so far 14,520 patients have been treated and interferon injections have been provided free to these patients according to government policy. He informed that all the record of hepatitis patients has been computerised. Moreover, vaccination of hospital employees against Hepatitis B was also conducted. Dr Israrul Haq and Dr Rizvi told that a separate Hepatitis Clinic has been established at the hospital where the services were being provided seven days in a week. Ghurki Trust Teaching Hospital had also organised a walk. The hospital management also provided free screening to hundreds of people besides registering patients for providing free injections.