Dharamsala: Today on World Hepatitis Day 28th July 2020, the Health Department, CTA observed the day by organizing a small function with the presence of health Kalon Choekyong Wangchuk, Health secretary Mr. Palden Dhondup, Additional Secretary Mr. Jampa Phuntsok and staffs of the department.
The Department of Health, CTA organized a sketch competition themed #hepatitisfreefuture through its official social media handles. The organizing team was overwhelmed with 25 remarkable entries and the department appreciates the efforts of all the participants in promoting the awareness on Hepatitis.
Top three entries along with three consolation winners of the sketch competition were announced today.A special consolation prize was announced for the youngest participant. Health Kalon Mr Choekyong Wangchuk launched a short awareness social media clip both in English and Tibetan focusing on significance of at birth Hepatitis B vaccination.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the usual awareness programs at the settlement level could not be carried out, thus the settlement health workers under the department has been advised to reach out the antenatal women via telephone and make them aware of Hepatitis B infection and in particular of its vaccine at birth.
Health Kalon delivered his key message reflecting on enormous efforts which has been put to tackle Hepatitis B in the Tibetan community with various initiatives such as awareness campaigns free under five vaccinations, Hepatitis B screening and vaccination program etc.
His call to action was for every individual to Get tested, Know their status and Get vaccinated specially “at birth dose”. He also mentioned about the comprehensive hepatitis B assessment done in the year 2019 which showed the prevalence rate of 6 to 7 percent compared to prevalence rate of 8.9 percent from the Hepatitis B study carried out at Bylakuppe Tibetan Settlement in collaboration with John Hopkins University.
Although the diagnostic tests and treatment of hepatitis B are under the welfare scheme, few people could not avail the benefits with lack of participation due to circumstantial constraints.
In addition, he expressed the need of collaboration between various organizations to get a consolidated data of the disease burden in the Tibetan community and importance of individual responsibility to eliminate viral Hepatitis as a public health threat and making Hepatitis free Tibetan community.