First Hepatitis B & C Patient Conference in Bangladesh organized by Liver Foundation

March 20, 2014

06-06-12Liver Foundation of Bangladesh organized a conference for hepatitis ‘B’ & ‘C’ patients, their family members & friends on June 2, 2012 at the auditorium of Bangladesh National Museum. The aim of which was to offer a guideline to the hepatitis ‘B’ & ‘C’ patients, their family for treatment and prevention of these two viral hepatitis. The prevalence of hepatitis ‘B’ & ‘C’ in Bangladesh is much high. About 4 – 7% of our population has hepatitis B and 1 – 3% hepatitis C. These two viral infections are the most common cause of chronic hepatitis, liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.Most of the time these two viral infections remain asymptomatic to an individual and silently damage the liver and also silently spread to others and diagnosed at its complicated stage. That’s why these two viruses are called ‘Silent killers’. But it is known that spread of these viruses can be prevented only by awareness in most of the circumstances.Hepatitis ‘B’ & ‘C’ virus affected individual not only suffer physically but also economically, psychologically and socially. Many times become frustrated and seek unscientific and misleading treatments resulting in to various complications. Liver Foundation of Bangladesh organized this conference to provide guideline about hepatitis ‘B’ & ‘C’. It is the first of its kind in Bangladesh. More than 700 hepatitis ‘B’ & ‘C’ patients, their family members & friends from different parts of the country participated in the conference.

The conference started with a welcome speech by Prof. M Anisur Rahman, Joint Secretary of Liver Foundation. Key note speech was given by Prof. Mohammad Ali, Secretary General of the Foundation. In his speech he highlighted the different activities of the Liver Foundation in preventing viral hepatitis in Bangladesh. He put special emphasis on implementation of ‘Birth dose’ of hepatitis B vaccine in the Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI) schedule to prevent hepatitis B transmission from mother to newborn. He stressed the need for incorporation of ‘Viral Hepatitis’ in the National Health Policy of the Government, so that viral hepatitis can get proper attention like control of HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis etc.

The program was enriched by power point presentations about details of hepatitis ‘B’ & ‘C’, its prevention, treatment and other aspects by specialists of different academic institutions of the country.

They are Prof. M A Masud, Dept. of Gastroenterology, Dhaka Medical College, Dr Md. Mohsin Kabir, Asstt. Prof. Dept. of Gastroenterology, BIRDEM & Treasurer, Liver Foundation of Bangladesh Dr. Golam Azam, Hepatologist & Gastroenterologist, BIRDEM and Dr. MD. Mahbubul Alam (Prince), Hepatologist & Gastroenterologist, BSMMU.

A lively question and answer session was between the participants and renowned Hepatologists & Gastroenterologists of the nation, regarding treatment, individual lifestyle of hepatitis ‘B’ & ‘C’ affected individuals and their families. The specialist panel comprises of Prof. Faruk Ahmed, Head of Gastroenterology Dhaka Medical College, Prof. Selimur Rahman, Hepatologist, BSMMU, Prof. Habibur Rahman, Head, Dept. of Gastroenterology, Sylhet MAG Osmani Medical College, Prof. Abu Sayeed, Head, Dept. of Medicine Chittagong Medical College, Prof. Shapan Chandra Dhar, Head, Dept. of Gastroenterology, SSMC & Mitford hospital, Prof. M. Anisur Rahman, Dept. of Gastroenterology, BIRDEM and Prof. Mohammad Ali, Dept. of Hepato-Biliary-Pancriatic Surgery & Liver Transplant, BIRDEM. The session was conducted by eminent health journalist Dr. Sajal Ashfaque.

During the question – answer session, hepatologists advised everyone to avoid the unscientific treatment and to ignore the false hope(s) given by quakes (unqualified health practitioners) and traditional healers of making `hepatitis B & C positive to negative’ by various means and methods.

A guidebook on ‘viral hepatitis’ published by Liver foundation on this occasion was given to participants.

Liver Foundation of Bangladesh is planning such kind of patient conference at different parts of the country in coming days, after getting encouraging and enthusiastic response of patients.

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