World Hepatitis Day – Know hepatitis – Act now

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Dr Rigzin Sangmo, Tibetan Medical and Astrological Institute, delivering a presentation on common causes and symptoms of hepatitis B

On World Hepatitis Day, 28 July 2016, WHO calls on policy makers, health workers and public to “Know hepatitis – Act now”.

Around the world WHO estimates 400 million people are infected with hepatitis B and C, more than 10 times the number of people living with HIV. An estimated 1.45 million people died of the disease in 2013 – up from less than a million in 1990.

Hepatitis B is a significant public health problem in the Tibetan refugee community in exile. Department of Health, CTA provides free hepatitis B vaccination to infants as part of under-five immunization program and free hepatitis B immunoglobulin vaccine to the newborns of infected mothers.

Additionally, the risk of chronic Hepatitis B is higher among those who are infected during childhood. Hence, Department of Health, CTA has ongoing School Hepatitis B vaccination project to the students and also to the non school going youths as well as women in the reproductive age group

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Distributed leaflet to the participants and done free hepatitis B Virus test at Delek branch clinic, Dharamsala

around remote Tibetan settlements.

Observing World hepatitis day, an awareness talk was organized by Department of Health in collaboration with Kunphen centre at Norbulinka on 27 July, 2016. The talk was given by Dr Rigzin Sangmo, Head of Research & Development Department of Tibetan Medical and Astro Institute and Dr Tenzin Desel from Delek Hospital, Dharamsala. People were informed about the mode of transmission of disease, preventive measures to be adopted and treatment modalities available.

On 28 July, 2016 an awareness talk was held for the public of Mcleod Ganj given by Dr Rigzin Sangmo from TMAI and Dr Sonam Topgyal from Delek Hospital.

Dr Sonam Topgyal presented key facts on the hepatitis B virus infection, common transmission of the virus and geographical concentration of Hepatitis B. He strongly called for coordinated efforts to curb the rising incidence of hepatitis in Tibetan community.

Dr Rinchen Sangmo gave an in depth presentation on the cause, symptoms, diagnosis and prevention of hepatitis B.

The talk was followed by free hepatitis B test done by Mr Tenzin Dhangsong, Lab technician of Delek Hospital. The test camp was attended by 211 people of all age.

World Hepatitis day was also observed in all the Tibetan settlements & schools in India through awareness talks, skits, quiz & drawing competitions.

The World Hepatitis B Day is commemorated every year on 28 July in honour of the birthday of Nobel Laureate Professor Baruch Blumberg, who discovered hepatitis B virus. This day is marked globally to create awareness and understanding about viral hepatitis, its complications and its prevention.

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