Most Common Diseases in Pakistan

Written by Pliro
May 8, 2017 Last updated: Feb 12, 2019

Several diseases that have been eradicated from most parts of the world still exist in Pakistan. This disease spread is credited to the high pollution rate which is worsened by unfavorable climatic conditions. Furthermore, a lack of educational, financial and economic development is also a leading cause. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Pakistan ranks at 122 out of 190 countries in terms of health care standards. Here are the 10 most common diseases in Pakistan that we all need to be aware of.

Mosquito-borne Diseases

Malaria, dengue fever and yellow fever are the three most common mosquito borne diseases that occur in Pakistan. Malaria occurs when female mosquitoes transmit parasites in the liver and attack red blood cells. Severe chills, sweats and high fever are common symptoms. Dengue fever is a severe form of virus that causes migraines, chills and loss of strength and appetite. Furthermore, it may cause hospitalization and become lethal if not treated in time. However, yellow fever is perhaps the most severe form of mosquito-borne diseases. It causes viral infection of the respiratory passages. Fever and, in severe cases, hepatitis or hemorrhagic fever may occur.

Ischemic Heart Disease

Ischemic or coronary heart disease is one of the most lethal diseases in Pakistan. Air pollution, smoking and unhealthy food choices are among the leading causes of this disease. These factors give way to high cholesterol levels, obesity, lethargy and exposure to harmful pollutants. Furthermore, due to the lack of sanitation, pure water isn’t there to flush out toxins from the body. Therefore, the ischemic heart disease occurs as a result of these overriding symptoms, causing major health problems and in some cases, death.

Intestinal Infections

Infection is the most common form of disease in Pakistan, since it occurs on the basis of co-infection. Contamination, poor sanitation, fewer resources and lack of medication are the main factors behind infection. The fact that Pakistan is still a developing country does not do much to help either. Additionally, intestinal infections include cholera, typhoid fever, dysentery, food poisoning and diarrhea among others.

Bacterial Diseases

Most bacteria that live in our cells are good bacteria, that are beneficial for the body. Some, however, can cause deadly diseases, if not cured in time. The infections that bacteria may cause include urinary tract infections and strep throat. However, typhoid fever and tuberculosis are some of the deadliest bacterial diseases that are common causes of death in Pakistan.

Viral Diseases

Viruses are almost always harmful and harder to treat due to their tiny size. Viral diseases include viral hepatitis, mumps, rabies, measles, chicken pox, and many more. The most common and serious in Pakistan are Hepatitis A and E. Furthermore, viruses can turn fully functional cells into cancerous cells. They target cells in the blood, liver and respiratory system, as well as bacteria.

Hepatitis A and E

Hepatitis A is a viral disease spreads through contaminated water or unhealthy food. It occurs as a result of poor sanitation and care of local produce. Its symptoms include fever, jaundice and diarrhea and it deteriorates the liver functions. Hepatitis E is another viral disease, also affecting the liver functions. Contaminated water is its primary cause for spreading. Furthermore, it may disrupt the urinary tract as well as display other symptoms such as jaundice or fatigue.


TB is a lung disease that is contagious and spreads by coughing and sneezing. Incidentally, Pakistan ranks 8 out of the 22 countries in the world that are most highly prone to tuberculosis, according to WHO. Tuberculosis can occur in the pulmonary (lungs), respiratory, and central nervous system. Furthermore, it takes place as meningitis (brain), as well as bones, joints and other organs.


Cancer is arguably, one of the leading causes of death in Pakistan, representing 8% of all deaths. Lung cancer and breast cancer are the two most common types of cancer in Pakistan. Majority of Pakistan’s cancer patients do not have access to proper treatment. Furthermore, there are very few treatment centers as it is, with a lack of proper healthcare and medical facilities. Additionally, there is the lack of education and awareness regarding cancer as well. Therefore, patients are not treated until they reach critical stages of cancer, after which treatment becomes ineffective and they are unable to be cured in time.


The lack of health and nutrition is an apparent phenomenon in Pakistan. The food that is consumed swims in fat, comes from questionable sources, and is smothered in salt or sugar. Furthermore, the advent of processed food worsens matters further. Diabetes occurs when the body becomes incapable of producing insulin, resulting in low metabolism and high glucose levels in the blood and urine. Pakistan has the highest diabetes rates in all of South Asia, with as many as 7 million people affected by the disease.


stroke is when blood flow to the brain is disrupted. There are typically two types of strokes, namely, ischemic and hemorrhage. Ischemic is when a blood vessel or artery is stopped by a blood clot and is unable to reach the brain. Hemorrhage results in internal bleeding of the brain due to rupture of a brain blood vessel. It is a major cause of death in Pakistan.

All in all, there are several hospitals in Pakistan that are capable of providing adequate treatment for these diseases. However, they are still very few in number, due to the lack of capable doctors and medical facilities. Furthermore, the government needs to play its role in providing access to more hospitals and awareness regarding lethal diseases, so that people can get treatment done in time.