On 28th July, in association with World Hepatitis day – The Health Foundation launched a national campaign titled Barber Hygiene. The campaign serves as a Public Service Announcement which highlights the increasing risks of shaving with unhygienic and unsafe shaving products used at barber shops and men’s salons.
The aim is to raise awareness of adverse health effects that are prevalent with the use of contaminated razors, shining light on how barbers lack certain knowledge regarding the dangers of re-using shaving equipment.
The Health Foundation is focused entirely on Hepatitis prevention and control in Pakistan, where every 12th person is suffering from either Hepatitis B or C. Pakistan also ranks 2nd highest in world prevalence for Hepatitis B & C. The growing effort by THF is rooted in facts that highlight how Hepatitis is the 8th biggest cause for deaths globally, every 30 seconds someone dies from Hepatitis in the Asia Pacific region, and the death rate from Hepatitis is 3 times more the HIV/ AIDS.
THF’s mission is to change public attitude via educating how everyday males easily neglect the common hazards of unclean shaving equipment. Using anti-bacterial solutions and changing blades does not guarantee removal of Hepatitis germs, resulting in a single drop of contaminated blood causing infection. As local health institutions lack resources to cater for such issues, THF has taken the initiative to enforce an attitude of self-consciousness within Pakistani males so they can exercise caution when getting a shave at barbers and men’s salons.
The Health Foundation will be conducting public walks & seminars to educate, on a national scale, about the root causes and effects of Hepatitis. One of the key causes for Hepatitis infection is unsafe/ unscreened blood transfusion where the tiniest drop of contaminated blood can spread the disease. Similar to the re-using of needles & syringes, unsafe barber shaving can also lead to Hepatitis transmission.
This is where barbers, not knowing the real risks, re-use the same blades, razor, towel & brushes on multiple people. More importantly, the risk of blood borne transmission is amplified by the lack of relevant knowledge that barbers and their clients possess and this multiplies the risk of infection.
Part of the program is to ultimately lead to reducing and preventing the risks of Hepatitis via educating barbers and consumers of these subtle but hazardous factors, whilst enforcing the avoidance of re-using unsterilized/ unsafe shaving equipment on multiple clients. Self-shaving is also a major driver of this avoidance from Hepatitis risks, allowing Pakistani males to be in control of their shaving equipment.
About The Health Foundation
The Health Foundation is an organization focused on prevention of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C in Pakistan. The Health Foundation aims to create awareness and promote healthy practices for management of various diseases in the general public, with an initial emphasis on Hepatitis B & Hepatitis C. Their goal is to educate the general public regarding the manifestations of Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C and their mode of acquisition, transmission and ways of prevention. THF also provides free treatment for non-affording poor and marginalized population.