1st World Hepatitis B Eradication Day

 

    The 1st WORLD HEPATITIS B ERADICATION DAY was observed in the evening on 28 July 2001 at Hotel Akbari Intercontinental. The function was organized by THE HEPATITIS B ERADICATION MISSION OF KALINGA GASTROENTEROLOGY FOUNDATION, Cuttack The date 28 July was chosen by the Foundation for this ceremony because this was the birthday of the great scientist, Professor B. S. Blumberg who had worked all his life studying the virus and its consequences. He not only discovered the virus but was also the first to come up with a test to diagnose the infection. He along with other colleagues was also the first to produce a vaccine against the virus.

The ceremony began with an invocation by the choir of Sri Saroj Kumar Parida's Subhadra Sangeet Vidyalaya; the children prayed for happiness and good health of all mankind.

This was followed by inauguration of the ceremony by the renowned physician and diabetologist and former President of the Association of Physicians of India. Prof Bibhuti Bhushan Tripathy, who praised the Kalinga Gastroenterology Foundation for the noble cause they had adopted and the novel way of educating the masses about the dangerous killer disease Hepatitis B.This was followed by the Welcome Address of Sri Tuhin Kanta Ghosh, the Secretary of the Foundation .He spoke about the work done by the Foundation to educate the public about the menace of Hepatitis B and how the Foundation pioneered School Vaccination Camps in the State and published and distributed literature to educate the public about Hepatitis B. This was followed by the Key Address by Dr. S. P. Singh, the Chairman of the Foundation. He lamented how this problem was neglected in our country and how although WHO had advised Hepatitis B vaccination for all, this was not being followed in our country. He exhorted the Doctors and Media to come forward and educate the public regarding the problem and also try to convince the  Government to do more in this field. He stressed that although there were about 5 crore Hepatitis B carriers in our country, and more people were dying due to this disease in a single day than those dying from AIDS in a year, and about one and a half lakh people died in India every year from this disease, very little was done for preventing this disease which could be successfully eradicated because excellent vaccines were available for preventing Hepatitis B. This was followed by an oration by journalist Sri Samarendu Das of the Hindustan Times who spoke on "The Role of the Media in generating awareness about Hepatitis B". He stressed on the need for conducting clinics to sensitize the Media about the killer Hepatitis B so that they could catalyze the awareness.

He also stressed that such awareness and education programmes were worthless if they did not reach the lower strata of society. He commended the Kalinga Gastroenterology Foundation for the strides they had made in this field and exhorted them to do more in this field. This was followed by the oration of Dr. Mohini Mohan Das, Professor & Head of Dept. of Pediatrics at SCB Medical College. He also stressed the need for urgent Universal Immunization to be  adopted in India to check the dreaded Hepatitis B. He stressed that transmission of the virus from the mother to the child was an important route of spread of the disease.

Following this, the Souvenir edited by Dr. Niranjan Rout , the Convenor of the meet was released by Prof. Sabyasachi Das, Retired Prof. & Head of Dept. of Medicine of SCB Medical College. Prof Gagan Chandra Mishra, Professor of Medicine at SCB Medical College also participated in the deliberations and stressed that Universal Vaccination for Hepatitis B was the only answer. He too showered praise on the Foundation for their good work.

  This was followed by distribution of awards to winners of the All Orissa School Poster Competition 2001. This competition was conducted by the foundation to generate awareness about Hepatitis B among school children. The Awards were distributed by the noted artist Sri Siba Panigrahi. The first prize which included a cash prize of Rs.1500.00 was bagged by Suryanka Khuntia of Baripada, and the Second Prize including cash of Rs. 1000.00 was bagged by Swati Chouhan of Cuttack. The third prize including cash prize of Rs.750.00 was awarded to Mimilisha Mohanty of Baripada. There were 130 entries for this competition from different parts of the state. Other dignitaries present on the occasion were Prof Satyanarayan Panda, Dr. Alok Kanungo, Dr. Indubhushan Kar, Dr. Pravas Subudhi, Dr. Chittaranjan Panda and Members of the Trust: Mrs Sudha Singh, Dr. Omprakash Agrawal & Dr. Chudamani Meher. The function was also attended by Sri Maheswar Sahoo of SAMBADA & Ms Farhat Amin of The Times of India. The ceremony ended with a vote of thanks by Dr. S. P. Singh, the Chairman of the Foundation and this was followed by dinner.

 

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