Airports Authority of India in collaboration with The Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) organised ‘I Pledge… (my support)’campaign against Hepatitis B & C at its Corporate Headquarters today.
This activity was undertaken as a part of ‘Empowering People Against Hepatitis: The Empathy Campaign’ being implemented by AAI in collaboration with ILBS that aims to spread pan-India awareness on the menace of viral Hepatitis B and C. The screening and vaccination camps were organised for AAI employees on this occasion.
About 60 million Indians are inflicted with Hepatitis B and C virus infections which are responsible for Liver Cirrhosis and Cancer. Most of the people harbouring the Hepatitis infection remain undiagnosed and unaware of their status. Several initiatives are currently being undertaken by the Govt of India under the National Viral Hepatitis Control Program, to improve access to vaccines, diagnostics and treatment for such individuals and those at risk. The stigma and consequent discrimination associated with these infections is a prominent hindrance to care-seeking, compliance and mainstreaming, as often the infected do not want to be identified for the fear of social isolation.
To address this problem, AAI signed a MoU with ILBS under its CSR initiative for a comprehensive program, namely, “Empowering People AgainstHepatitis: The EMPATHY Campaign” in 2018. The objective of the campaign is to generate awareness on Hepatitis B and C across India through multi-pronged advocacy strategies for improving healthcare seeking behaviour with respect to Hepatitis and developing and promoting positive behaviours towards the infected individuals at individual, community and societal levels.
The program started with the formal lamp – lighting ceremony by Dr. GuruprasadMohapatra, Chairman, AAI and Shri. S.K. Sarin, Director, ILBS in presence of Shri. Anuj Aggarwal, Member (HR), AAI., Shri. I. N Murthy, Member(Operations), AAI and Shri. Vineet Gulati, Member (ANS), AAI.
Dr. Mohapatra addressed AAI Officials and employees to come forward for screening and vaccination and inaugurated the ‘I Pledge…(my support)’ campaign by signing the Pledge Card. He further reiterated that Our country has successfully eradicated diseases like Polio and Small Pox through a sustained campaign. Similarly, there is a need to kick-start an awareness drive towards prevention from Hepatitis B & C
Following this, the senior officials of AAI and their staff also extended their support by sharing a pledge for the cause and the ILBS team held a screening-cum – vaccination camp for AAI staff, wherein all the staff was offered vaccination for Hepatitis B and screening for Hepatitis B & C, on voluntary basis.