Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan says hepatitis awareness drive can also be spread to anganwadis – the government-run women and child care centres – to help prevent the disease among women and children. “The government of Maharashtra has a wonderful scheme where they help and work along with what is commonly known as aanganwadi… I think it will be a wonderful idea if they (government) can include this process of how to educate these aanganwadis in hepatitis,” Bachchan told reporters yesterday.
“Give them the opportunity that when they give or help a lady at birth, to also administer to them or teach them that they must have the vaccination done, which can prevent their child from getting hepatitis.” The 73-year-old actor was speaking at the World Hepatitis Day 2016 Symposium organised by the World Health Organisation and Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare.
Bachchan, who is surviving only on 25 per cent of his liver as the rest has been damaged by the deadly Hepatitis-B virus, is the brand ambassador for awareness about this serious disease of liver inflammation. The actor feels there should be a fixed budget for the prevention and eradication of the disease. “There are various programmes that the government does. We need to have a very consorted programme to put the programme of hepatitis on a more definitive basis. We need to have a designated amount of budget put across towards hepatitis so that we can all work towards its eradication.”
The “Paa” actor also stressed on the importance of women’s education and cleanliness, both of which can help curb the disease. “There are many schemes of the Government of India which I notice and work for, be it the ‘Swachh Bharat’, ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padhao’. Hepatitis A and E are water-borne viruses, they can be prevented provided we have a clean atmosphere… And that goes along with what ‘Swachh Bharat’ means,” he said.