Geneva Health Forum Archive

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Hepatitis B and C Transmission

Author(s): R. M. Muhammad*1, I. I. Mahsud2, M. M. Khan3
Affiliation(s): 1Health, Noble Development Network, Lahore, Pakistan, 2NGO, 3NGO, Noble Development Network, Lahore, Pakistan
Keywords: Hepatitis, KABP and Transmission

Even though one out of 10 Pakistanis suffers from the virus of either Hepatitis B or C, the hepatitis-infected population of 15 million awaits the proper implementation of a National Programme for Prevention and Control of Hepatitis in Pakistan to control the deadly disease. Unsafe drinking water, unscreened blood transfusion and the rampant use of used syringes have spread hepatitis, making it one of the biggest concerns for the country’s health managers. According to WHO four to five million people in Pakistan are suffering from Hepatitis B and about four to six million people are suffering from Hepatitis C. It mean over 10 million Pakistanis are suffering from one or the other type of Hepatitis. Objective: To assess the knowledge and practices of barbers regarding transmission risk of HBV and HCV viruses


A cross-sectional survey of barber’s shops in Pakistan was conducted. Barbers were queried about hepatitis, knowledge regarding hepatitis transmission through razor, vaccination, sterilization, and the form of media they use for information and entertainment. Use of instruments on at least 2 clients were observed in each shop. Proportion and their 95% confidence intervals were computed.


Of 96 barbers approached, 12 (13%) knew that hepatitis is a disease of the liver, causing jaundice, it is transmitted through parenteral route and could also be transmitted by razor. During the actual observation of 192 clients, razors were cleaned with antiseptic solution for 22 (11.4%) and reused for 88 (46%) shaves. Conclusion: Level of awareness among barbers about hepatitis and risks of transmission is very low, and their practice of razor reuse that may spread hepatitis is very common. Messages about hepatitis need to be incorporated in media campaigns, in addition to regulation of practices.

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