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Vaccination drive need of the hour

"With 360 million carrier world over, it will not be wrong to say that Hepatitis B is a silent killer. It's late manifestation of symptoms makes it more fatal than other diseases. Each MP and MLA should donate a part of their development fund to the government hospitals for Hepatitis B vaccination programme. Because investing in health facilities will also lead to an overall development of the State."
None | By HT Live Correspondent, Allahabad
PUBLISHED ON JUL 30, 2006 12:24 AM IST

"With 360 million carrier world over, it will not be wrong to say that Hepatitis B is a silent killer. It's late manifestation of symptoms makes it more fatal than other diseases. Each MP and MLA should donate a part of their development fund to the government hospitals for Hepatitis B vaccination programme. Because investing in health facilities will also lead to an overall development of the State."

These views were expressed by State Bharatiya Janata Party president Keshari Nath Tripathi at the inaugural session of 'Hepatitis B Update- 2006', organised by Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, MLN Medical College, Gastro Club of Allahabad in association with Indian Association for Study of the Liver (INASL) and National Academy of Sciences-India (NASI), here on Saturday.

Tripathi said the public also need to be informed about the source of liver diseases. This would not only lead to better prevention of disease but would also help in checking its further spread. "I will also suggest the chief minister to include Hepatitis B vaccination in the routine immunisation programme," he added.

Guest of honour district magistrate Amrit Abhijat said that illiteracy and poverty were the two serious inhibiting factors in having access to good health facilities.

The Hepatitis B assumed a serious proportion because of poor awareness in the society. "But the involvement of students and media can help in spreading greater awareness about Hepatitis B among the general public. The documentary movies should be screened on the tehsil diwas to make rural residents aware of the causes and prevention of Hepatitis B," he added.

Head of Gastroenterology Department and organising secretary Dr Manisha Dwivedi said a political will was required to launch an extended Hepatitis B vaccination programme in every State.

In India alone there were 45 million Hepatitis B carriers. A large number of patients get infected through transfusion of untested blood. "There are strict norms for the mandatory testing of blood. But the irony is that its implementation is very poor," she added. 

Scientific secretary Dr SP Mishra said children were involved in the Hepatitis B workshop because they could play an important role in its prevention and awareness. The Hepatitis B vaccine has become so cheap that with a single MP fund the entire children in the district could be vaccinated against the dreaded virus. Joint organising secretary Dr Atul Mathur proposed a vote of thanks. Dr Rohit Gupta and Dr Shanti Choudhary conducted the programme.

Meanwhile, about 200 students participated in the question-answer session of Hepatitis B workshop. The experts from Delhi, Varanasi and Lucknow including Prof Vivek Saraswat and Prof AK Jain from BHU answered the queries of students.

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