David Lelliott, deputy high commissioner of the UK joined the Rotary Club of Chandigarh and Chandigarh Gastroenterology and Liver Forum at Sukhna Lake for a walkathon to spread awareness about viral hepatitis on the eve of World Hepatitis Day on Sunday. The day falls on Monday.
David Lelliott flagged off the walkathon in which rotarians, rotaractors and interactors of Sri Aurobindo High School also joined.
Gastroenterology and Liver Forum president Dr Sandeep Dhavan said, "This is our chance to call for a change in attitude to viral hepatitis. Approx 1.5 million people die of hepatitis all across the globe. It is equivalent to number of deaths caused by HIV/AIDS. The prevalence of Hepatitis C compared to Hepatitis B is very high in Punjab. The national figure of prevalence of hepatitis C is 3-5 %."Dr Ajay Duseja from Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research said about 80-100 new cases of Hepatitis B and C are seen in liver clinic every month.
Dr Dhavan said the GLF celebrated World Hepatitis Week by organising various public awareness lectures at several educational institutes. A continued medical education programme highlighting the current guidelines in the management of hepatitis B and C was also held.
Paramjit Singh, president of Rotary Club of Chandigarh, referring to a global study, said: "With more and more people dying of viral hepatitis, it is becoming a global epidemic."
Later, the rotarians planted 100 saplings at a part of the Sector 19-D open park which lacked tree cover.