The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Friday appointed actor Amitabh Bachchan the goodwill ambassador for Hepatitis in South-East Asia region.
The actor said he has been living with Hepatitis infection for more than three decades and is committed to the cause of eradicating it from the country.
“I met with an accident during shooting in 1982. Of the 200 donors who donated their blood, one of them had the virus,” he said.
He learned about the infection during a routine check-up in 2004.
“It was alarming, 75% of my liver had been damaged. I am an example of someone who is surviving with only 25% of his liver functioning,” Bachchan said.
WHO officials present at the event emphasised on the need to detect people with the condition and making medication more affordable to people. “Only 10% of people infected with Hepatitis are aware of it. Most live with the condition for years without knowing it,” said Poonam Khetrapal Singh, regional director, WHO, south east Asia region.
“ Hepatitis B and C are prevalent among high-risk groups such as intravenous drug users and sex workers,” she said.