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Big B becomes the WHO ambassador for hepatitis
Actor Amitabh Bachchan was appointed as the goodwill ambassador for hepatitis in Southeast Asia on Friday.

Mr Bachchan has himself been a survivor of hepatitis B and now he will be the face of a campaign fighting against the spread of this disease. Furthermore, creating awareness among the masses about it.

Mr Bachchan revealed that he perfectly understood how disabling this (hepatitis) can be and would do his best in eradicating this menace from the world.

Mr Bachchan had contracted this disease back in 1982 while he was on the sets of one of his films. He met with an accident and was injured. While he was being administered several blood units, one of them was carrying the hepatitis virus. After that, like in majority of the cases, this disease remained undiagnosed for a very long duration of time and when the doctors finally detected it, they told him that 75 per cent of his liver was damaged. Call it his luck that he was told he could survive on the rest 25 per cent.

Given the World Health Organization estimates, out of the total 4.1 lakh deaths throughout the world due to this viral infection, India contributes to about 60 per cent of the disease. On the global level, a target has been set to eradicate this menace by 2030 while India is yet to set a target for its eradication.

Also, the fact, that in India, the cost of the medicines for hepatitis is very low as compared to the West.

Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, the WHO regional director says, "The cost of drugs in India is much lower than the West. In India, hepatitis medicines cost $120 for three months as opposed to $85000 in USA." 

But, on the flip side of the coin, the economic cost of treatment is much higher even after subsidized drug cost. If it is diagnosed at an early stage, the is comparatively much lower than the late diagnosis which may even require a liver transplant.

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