by Suman Gupta
Mumbai 30th July 2018: The third edition of Hepathon-Walk for Liver was a resounding success with more than 1500 pharmacy students from all over Mumbai gathered in Bandra and participated in the 3 kilometer awareness walk in observance of World Hepatitis Day on July 28 2018. Organized by Hetero Healthcare Limited, the walk was flagged off from IES Management College and Research Centre, Near Lilavati Hospital, Bandra with students spreading awareness of Hepatitis. Around 1500 pharmacy students participated in the event from various colleges across Mumbai. The event was conducted in association with IPA-MSB (Indian Pharmaceutical Association- Maharashtra State Board Council).The walk also witnessed overwhelming participation of renowned Gastroenterologists, Liver Specialists and doctors from the city.
“Community participation and student involvement remains crucial to highlighting the dangers of critical diseases like Hepatitis. There is a need to organize more such initiatives to ensure that vulnerable populations are protected from the influx of this dreaded disease” stated by Nehru Dadisetti, Vice President, Hetero Healthcare Ltd.
Hepatitis has emerged as a silent killer which is presenting huge challenges to medical practitioners and policy holders. The Hepathon-Walk initiative aims to encourage people to take preventive measures and regularly screen themselves to avoid onset of liver diseases. In Mumbai & state of Maharashtra we are facing a huge problem of Hepatitis B while the rest of the country is more worried about Hepatitis C .The prevalence of Hepatitis B in Maharashtra is around 2-3%. Mumbai around 3.5 lakh people are affected because of hepatitis B. Most of this people are undiagnosed and untreated makes me feel very worried about the health of the city.
What we need is an early identification of the disease because it does not produce any symptoms and if not treated at an early stage it may progress to cirrhosis and liver cancer. Once these complications develop there are limited options available for treatment. Currently there are vaccines available for prevention of Hepatitis B and effective treatment options for B and C. The government is very alert and they have taken very good initiatives for treatment of hepatitis and this has been made possible because of newly oral Hep B & C drugs available in India” stated Dr Akash Shukla, Professor & Head Department of Gastroenterology, LTMMC & LTMG Hospital, Sion, Mumbai.
Free screening camps in association with renowned clinicians were held on this occasion. People were increasingly urged to avail of the benefits of such camps and were also advised to regularly visit gastroenterologists in their cities for preventive check-ups.
India ranks second only to China with over 40 million Hepatitis B patients and 12 million Hepatitis C patients. It has generally been observed that more than 95% of those affected are unaware of their condition with the disease manifesting in later stages. Late diagnosis of the disease can lead to risk of developing liver cancer and liver cirrhosis, which are life-threatening in nature.