World Hepatitis Day was observed on July 28 worldwide. Several events with the aim of spreading awareness about the dreaded disease in the state were organised in the capital here.
Speaking at an event organised to mark the World Hepatitis Day here on Saturday, Head of Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatobiliary Diseases at the Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital Dr Manoj Kumar Sahu said though Hepatitis-B is a killer, it can be prevented. With an outstanding record of safety and effectiveness, a vaccine is available since 1982 and a single shot of it can ensure life-long protection against the infection, he added.
Hepatitis-B kills more people in a day than the HIV does in a year, but the HIV has got into the public psyche as a much bigger threat, Dr Sahu said, adding that an estimated 300 million people have been infected by Hepatitis-B worldwide.
“The biggest concern is that 95 per cent of the affected population don’t know that they were carrying a deadly virus which can cause permanent liver damage. Hepatitis types B and C cause serious liver damage leading to liver cirrhosis, failure, and cancer,” he pointed out.
The Hepatitis-B vaccine can prevent 3,00,000 cancer deaths every year and early diagnosis provided the best opportunity for effective medical support and prevention of further spread.
The theme this year was ‘Eliminate Hepatitis – Find the Missing Millions’, which aimed at identifying the infected people who were not aware of their condition. “The need is to take action, find these people, treat and cure them and prevent infection in other healthy people. Taking action now will save seven million lives by 2030,” Dr Sahu said.
Minister for Tourism and Culture Ashok Chandra Panda underlined the need for creating public awareness against the dreaded virus and said the State Government will support any such drive that aimed at improving the healthcare of people.
The SOA University has launched a programme – ‘SOA Adivasi Hepatitis Mission’ for Hepatitis-B screening and immunization among tribal children in the State.
Among others, Chairman of Odisha Khadi and Gramodyog Board Tejeswar Parida, IMS and SUM Hospital Dean Prof Gangadhar Sahu and Secretary of Bharat Scouts and Guides Ram Murti Dora also spoke at the event.
In another event cadets of Bharat Scouts and Guides organized an awareness rally on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day in Bhubaneswar on Saturday.
Gastro and Kidney Care Hospital celebrated World Hepatitis Day in Bhubaneswar
About Hepatitis and World hepatitis day
World Hepatitis Day is observed on July 28 every year worldwide. July 28 was selected as a mark of respect for the birthday of Nobel Laureate Prof. Baruch Samuel Blumberg, who discovered Hepatitis B virus and invented its vaccine.