Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan has been appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for Hepatitis by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for South-East Asia region.
Hepatitis is a liver inflammation which occurs due to viruses Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E out of these three, B and C viruses have caused the maximum damage to human health across the world. The B and C viruses lead to chronic diseases in hundreds of millions of people and is the common cause of liver cirrhosis and cancer. As a move to battle with the increasing incidents of Hepatitis in South-East Asia, the WHO has appointed Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan as its goodwill ambassador to spread awareness among people and intensify the treatment measures to combat this health threat.
Amitabh Bachchan is himself a hepatitis B survivor, he was detected with the disease in 1982 when he was administered several units of blood and one of them was carrying the hepatitis virus. It damaged 75 per cent of his liver. Bachchan fought against the disease and he survives on 25 percent of his liver. But unfortunately, not all the victims are that lucky; hepatitis kills over 4.1 lakh people in the Southeast Asia every year and as per latest estimates by the World Health Organisation, 90 million people suffer from chronic liver disease.
As someone who has already suffered or is still suffering from the disease due to blood transfusion and as someone, Bachchan understands how disabling it is and what pain they go through and how to cure the disease. He was infected by the virus after being infused with the blood of over 200 donors post the accident on the sets of Coolie.
Bachchan is already the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Polio in India but this is the first time that WHO and Bachchan have teamed up. Taking this as an opportunity, Bachchan said,
“I wish the day would come when I would stand here along with the World Health Organisation and make a statement, just like we did at the time of Polio, that today India is Hepatitis free. That would be a great achievement of this campaign.”. We hope for the same Bachchan sir and we hope that in the Big B against Hepatitis B (and all others) battle, may this world be disease free.