New Delhi: Airports Authority of India has started a campaign called ‘I Pledge… (my support)’ in collaboration with The Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) against Hepatitis B & C. The event was held at AAI’s Corporate Headquarters on January 3, 2019. ‘I Pledge... campaign has been undertaken as a part of ‘Empowering People Against Hepatitis: The Empathy Campaign’ that is being implemented by AAI in collaboration with ILBS. Both the organisations together pledged to spread pan-India awareness on the menace of viral Hepatitis B and C. As part of the activity the screening and vaccination camps were also organised for the AAI employees on this occasion.
CSR Initiative By AAI
The campaign launch program started with the formal lamp - lighting ceremony by Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI and S.K. Sarin, Director, ILBS in presence of Anuj Aggarwal, Member (HR), AAI., I. N Murthy, Member (Operations), AAI and 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 India 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.
Need For A Comprehensive Campaign Against Hepatitis
Hepatitis B and C virus infections are mainly responsible for Liver Cirrhosis and Cancer. The worst part is that most of the people harbouring the Hepatitis infection remain undiagnosed and are unaware of their status. This leads to spreading out of disease like a slow poison. Although Govt. Of India is running several initiatives in order to improve access to vaccines, diagnostics and subsequent treatments of the infected patients under the National Viral Hepatitis Control Program. But the bigger threat is the stigma and consequent discrimination associated with these infections.
This plays the role of a prominent hindrance in care-seeking, compliance and mainstreaming. Often the infected do not want to be identified for the fear of social isolation. Seeing the gravity and widespread nature of the disease, AAI has signed a MoU with ILBS under its CSR initiative for a comprehensive program, namely, “Empowering People Against Hepatitis: The EMPATHY Campaign” in 2018. The main objective of the campaign is to generate awareness on Hepatitis B and C across India through multi-pronged advocacy strategies.
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