Tackling hepatitis C in Machar Colony, Karachi, Pakistan | Médecins Sans Frontières – Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) International

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This liver disease is caused by the hepatitis C virus and is the major cause of liver cancer. According to the World Health Organization, Pakistan has the second highest number of people infected with the virus in the world, and it can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis C infection.

It is transmitted through blood, and so the re-use of needles and razor blades, unsafe healthcare practices, and sharing everyday household items such as combs or toothbrushes can spread the virus.

Casting the information net

Nestled against the sea and close to one of Karachi’s ports, many of the people who live in Machar work in the fishing industry. Some repair and build wooden boats for the fishermen who spend months at sea catching tuna or mackerel to bring back to sell.

Others work in the fisheries in and near the Colony, where they prepare the fish and shrimp to be sold to exporters. Blue nets dry in the sun, fish swing in the wind and men in white rubber boots hose down the fish auction house. In its bid to tackle hepatitis C in this community, MSF teams goes where the people are.

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