Compere: Sh Dibang Elimination of infectious diseases is possible, by prevention and timely treatment. Both hepatitis B and C, spread through blood and body luids, are preventable and treatable. What is needed is awareness. The stigma of being detected with hepatitis B and C and the risk of social dejection is the major cause for not reaching out for testing and treatment. Social stigmas and their impact include, social rejection (rejection by family, friends and neighborhood), economic stigma (jeopardizing getting a job and losing a job), embarrassment (fear of disclosure of being infected), and lack of self-conidence (feeling inferior and isolated). Unless there are massive efforts for increasing the awareness about these infections and community mobilization in voluntary vaccination, screening, testing and early treatment for Hepatitis B & C infections, more and more people will get infected and lives will continue to be lost. For an optimal public health response, it is time for a community action in the form of Talk, Test and Treat. The road to empowerment of people against these infections is through increased general awareness and generation of dialogue on the subject. Together, we need to change the mind set of people by Empowering People
against Hepatitis, by joining the EMPATHY campaign and making it a people’s movement.
Panelists: Shri U K Sinha, Shri Ashok Chakradhar, Ms. Rumana Hamied, Prof. N K Arora, Shri Shesh Narain Singh, Dr. Ekta Gupta