Home / Healthcare/ Amitabh Bachchan appeals for eradication of hepatitis from WHO South-East Asia Region

Amitabh Bachchan appeals for eradication of hepatitis from WHO South-East Asia Region

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Thursday, 14 September 2017 00:00

Making a passionate plea to eliminate viral hepatitis from WHO South-East Asia Region, Amitabh Bachchan, WHO Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in the Region, stressed increasing awareness about the preventable disease and ending discrimination against the affected.

“If this ailment is detected in time and care can be taken, there are medications that can halt this virus. A very high burden of hepatitis exists in the South-East Asia Region. Whatever work we can do to eliminate hepatitis – to detect and cure it – we must do,” Bachchan said while addressing the Seventieth Regional Committee session of WHO South-East Asia Region in Male, the Maldives through a video link.

The Goodwill Ambassador said, “This is a moral and social issue. Discrimination against people with Hepatitis continues to happen socially in our midst. There are women who are refused marriage, women who are refused the ability to bear children because they have hepatitis B and there are countries who deny visa to people with hepatitis. Discrimination needs to stop. People must know that there is a cure for hepatitis.”

“Each year viral hepatitis infects millions of people across the Region, killing 410 000 people – more than HIV and malaria combined. It is also a major cause of liver cancer and cirrhosis, contributing to premature morbidity and mortality, and undermining economic growth and the push to achieve health and wellbeing for all,” Dr, Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director South-East Asia, said, stressing on the need for countries to prioritise action to reverse this trend.

At the Regional Committee session yesterday, Member countries adopted the regional action plan to end viral hepatitis as a public health threat by 2030. Using the framework of universal health coverage to ensure that no one is left behind, WHO has developed the plan in consultation with Member countries, community leaders, development partners, academia and professional societies. The regional action plan provides a framework for implementing evidence based interventions.

As preventive measures WHO has been advocating for vaccinating newborns with Hepatitis B first at birth and then two to three doses of the vaccine as part of routine immunisation schedule, safe blood and safe injection practices; improved sanitation, safe water and food safety; and most importantly scaling up testing and treatment of Hepatitis B and C to prevent complications such as liver cirrhosis and cancer.

The Region with one-fourth of the global population, disproportionately accounts for one-third of the global hepatitis burden. “We need to take urgent action against Hepatitis,” Bachchan said in his address to the Regional Committee session through a video link.

Share This Article


Today's Columnists

Why are interest rates high?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The general public is concerned about the high level of interest rates prevailing in the recent past. Interest rates influences the day-to-day life of ordinary people as it is the benchmark for all economic decisions.

Dream or nightmare?

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

An air of unreality pervades the country. What you see is not what it is; fact, truth, reality - mere words, having no intrinsic meaning. An illusion shrouds another illusion; a maya merely hides another ‘maya’, a bottomless pit of deception.

Some thoughts on ‘Vision 2025: A Country Enriched’

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Recently, our Government unveiled a forward plan titled: ‘V2025: A Country Enriched’. It spells out the Government’s economic vision for many relevant areas, including development plans for our human resource.

Is Sri Lanka ready for the 2025 growth agenda?

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

The other day the President and Prime Minister launched the 2025 vision for Sri Lanka which was incidentally the third policy statement of the Government since coming to power in 2015. My view is that the continuous changes to policy is important and

Columnists More