WHO Appointed Mr. Amitabh Bachchan as its Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia

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Breaking News: WHO appointed Mr. Amitabh Bachchan as its Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia.

Mumbai: In order to control the spread of hepatitis epidemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Friday appointed actor Amitabh Bachchan as its Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in the Region of Southeast Asia.

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Indian Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan addresses an event in Mumbai on May 12, 2017, held to announce him as World Health Organization (WHO) goodwill ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia. Image Source: AFP

According to WHO estimates, out of 4.1 lakh deaths due to viral infection worldwide, India carries the burden of 60 per cent of the disease.While the global target is to eradicate the disease by 2030 and India has not yet set a goal to eradicate it altogether.

“The cost of drugs in India is much lower than the west. In India, hepatitis medicines cost $120 for three months as opposed to $85000 in the USA,” said Dr. Poonam Singh, Regional Director of WHO.

Punjab has already started a free screening and treatment program for hepatitis due to the huge population involved in the injectable drug usage. In other states in India so far no separate program has been developed for the treatment of hepatitis.

“Discussions are underway to push for a separate program to handle the viral disease, just like the polio program run by the union health ministry,” said Dr. Sameer Shah, head of hepatology at Global Hospital Parel.

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Indian Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan addresses an event in Mumbai on May 12, 2017, held to announce him as World Health Organization (WHO) goodwill ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia. Image Source: AFP

According to Bachchan, who is already an ambassador for tuberculosis and has campaigned for the eradication of polio, early detection is important for the treatment of the disease.

The actor (74) was diagnosed with hepatitis B infection during a routine health scan in 2004, more than 15 years after he underwent a blood transfusion.

Breaking News: WHO appointed Mr. Amitabh Bachchan as its Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia.

In a press conference on Friday, he said that he is committed to the cause of eradicating Hepatitis in India. “About 75% of my liver had been damaged. I am an example of someone who is surviving with only 25% of his liver functioning, said Bachchan.

“I am absolutely committed to the cause of hepatitis. As a person living with hepatitis B, I know the pain and sufferings that it causes. No one should suffer from viral hepatitis,” said Bachchan.

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Indian Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan addresses an event in Mumbai on May 12, 2017, held to announce him as World Health Organization (WHO) goodwill ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia. Image Source: AFP

WHO officials said that most people are not aware of Hepatitis virus, either infected with hepatitis B or C. These viruses are transmitted through infected blood, unsafe sex and needle exchange. “Less than 10% of the people infected with the virus are aware of it. People have to be made aware of the need to test for this virus and undergo treatment,” Poonam Khitrapal Singh, WHO in Asia Director said South East.

To prevent infection, Hepatitis vaccination is given at birth, followed by three doses in the first six months under National Indradhanush Program. There is, however, no national research is actively used to treat the disease on the basis of priority.

Worldwide, in 2015, the World Health Organization estimates that 257 million people living with hepatitis B and living with 71 million Hepatitis C.

The economic cost of treatment is very high even after the cost of subsidized medicines in India. “But the cost of diagnosing and treating early is much lower than late diagnosis which may lead to the need for liver transplant,” said Dr. Henk Bacademi, WHO representative in India.

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(Feature Image Source: AFP)

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A. R. Choudhury

Hi, This is A. R. Choudhury, a Professional Blogger, YouTuber, Freelancer & Internet Marketer from India. Here at FabHealthFitness, I write about Health, Fitness, Bodybuilding, Supplements, Diet & Nutrition and NEWS. You can read more about me at About me page.

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