South-East Asian countries have made a paradigm shift in terms of Hepatitis B control, and if this trend continues, the promise to eradicate Hepatitis by the year 2030 will be well delivered, said speakers at a conference on Saturday and Sunday.
“Bangladesh and few other countries in South-East Asia have already achieved Hepatitis B control. We firmly believe that the awareness on liver we have built over the years, the ecosystem we have built in the meantime and the progress we have made in liver treatment helped us reach the milestone,” said Prof Dr Mamun Al MahtabShwapnil, chairman of the Forum for the Study of the Liver.
The observations were made at the two-day conference titled ‘1st Padma-Ganga-Gomuti Liver Conference 2019’ marking the centennial birth anniversary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.Bangladesh’s Forum for the Study of the Liver, West Bengal Liver Foundation and Hepatitis Foundation of Tripura jointly organized the program in Dhaka.
“If this progress continues, liver specialists will face a tough time since people will hardly develop liver complications. The prospect is in the horizon since nothing is impossible when Bengali rises,” he further said.
The conference was reverberating with the success stories of Bengalis in liver awareness, diagnosis, treatment, research and development including the invention of the breakthrough medicine called Nasvac by DrMamun Al Mahtab and Dr Sheikh Mohammad Fazle Akbar that helped Bengalis carve their name on the global liver treatment landscape.
Not to be outdone by what they achieved in the past, the conference delegates also came up with promises to fulfill in the future through the discussion titled ‘Future Research in Hepatology: How the Bengalis can lead?’.
The event covered the gamut of liver issues including why fatty liver should be taken seriously and how simple lifestyle changes and timely intervention can relieve patients of the lethal diseases that fatty liver might otherwise lead to.
Shedding light on the need for vaccination for hepatitis, DrProdipBhowmik, president of Hepatitis Foundation of Tripura, narrated their success in vaccinating a sizable population in Tripura. He also aired his optimism of a better cooperation between Bengalis beyond territories in terms of awareness, treatment and research on liver diseases.
Reiterating the importance of creating an ecosystem of liver specialists, community leaders, stakeholders and common people to eradicate liver diseases, DrAshokanandaKonar, president of Liver Foundation, West Bengal, said, “Healthcare is not just about doctors, it’s a reflection of overall social, economic and political aspects of a country.”
Liver complications are often overlooked as they are silent killers. They hardly express any symptom unless they lead to serious diseases like liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. That is why liver checkup and timely diagnosis and treatment are a must, said speakers attaching the importance of awareness about Hepatitis B and C.
About 50 specialists, including those from Japan, attended the conference. They visited the Bangabandhu Museum in the capital’s Dhanmondhi 32 and placed floral wreath at his muralthere.
“We cannot express how we felt when we visited the museum,” said DrAshokananda Konar.
“If Bangabandhu were alive, things could have been different in the medical sector in this region. We, the liver specialists, would have been benefitted,” he added.
The Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina sent her good thoughts on the event.
The second and third editions of the conference will be held in Kolkata in March and Agartala in August next year during the official celebration of Bangabandhu’s birth centenary.