ISLAMABAD – The National Hepatitis C Hackathon, organised by Teamup, Sensus Dx and Ferozsons Laboratories Limited at the National Incubation Center (NIC) in Islamabad-Pakistan’s leading incubator, managed by Teamup in partnership with Jazz and Ignite, has successfully concluded. The 2-day online event was held on the 27th and 28th of July, in partnership with the Corporate Coalition for Viral Hepatitis Elimination (cchep.org) and sponsored by CCHEP member companies Abbott, PepsiCo, Nestle, and Ferozsons, to find innovative solutions to curb the spread of viral hepatitis in Pakistan.
Pakistan has the second highest HCV prevalence in the world. Approximately 11 million people are living with Hep C in the country. On average 64 deaths occur daily due to the disease in Pakistan. While the disease is highly curable in most cases, lack of awareness and late diagnosis contribute to the high transmission and death rates in the country.
A total of 340 applications from 60+ cities in 3 continents were received from SMEs, startups, and medical experts under thematic areas of prevention, detection and management. 18 applications were shortlisted for pitching in the hackathon, out of which top 6 were shortlisted for the finale.
Chief Guest for the event-Dr Faisal Sultan-SAPM for Health, sharing his views on the occasion said: “The challenge of the Viral Hepatitis epidemic is one that the government is committed to meeting through the Prime Minister’s Program for Viral Hepatitis, which we are launching through our own resources despite the burden placed by of the Covid pandemic. The scale of this challenge will require the full participations of our citizens and the private sector. I am encouraged by the formation of the Corporate Coalition for Hepatitis Elimination in Pakistan, and congratulate the more than 300 entrants of Hackathon for their spirit and innovative proposals. I am extremely hopeful that with the support of these young innovators, we can eliminate viral hepatitis as a public health threat in Pakistan.”
Dr Nausheen Hamid-Parliamentary Secretary for MNHSRC, who graced the occasion as the guest of honor, said: “Hepatitis C in particular is a critical healthcare problem in Pakistan, with prevalence at persistently high levels. It gives me immense pleasure to witness this unique event and the impactful ideas presented as solutions here. Opportunities like these can help us break barriers to innovation and accelerate the development of solutions to resolve problems at various fronts, not only at a national, but also at international level. I would like to congratulate Teamup and sponsors Abbott, Ferozsons Laboratories Limited, Pepsi and Nestlefororganizing and executing such an impactful event”