Kohima: Consumer health and hygiene company Reckitt led ‘The Birds and Bees Talk’ organized a webinar on the occasion of World Hepatitis Day to address the lack of awareness around the disease in the six states of North-Eastern India.
The initiative, supported by Reckitt and Plan India, aimed at increasing outreach amongst community, students and teachers through experts, doctors and influencers to raise awareness about the disease in Nagaland, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur and Mizoram.
Mrs. Koing Samon Umbon, DDSE, Namsai, who is an educationist and social activist, currently working for women rights and development, shared details about the disease and its effects.
Mrs. Koing Samon Umbon said, “I am very happy to be a part of this initiative to raise awareness about the Hepatitis disease among the masses in the Northeast. We highlighted the risk factors, early signs and shared information on preventive measures, and also discussed key solutions for the disease.”
She said, “Hepatitis B is the most dangerous among other Hepatitis diseases. Northeast region is mainly affected by Hepatitis B. We along with local NGOs and other Organizations are hopeful of being successful in fulfilling the goal of educating the people of this region and take a first stride in eradicating the disease.”
Mrs. Umbon added, “People of Northeast live a fit and healthy life because of meditation, nutritious and boiled food, but still there is a lack of awareness about Hepatitis in this region, particularly in the rural areas. People mistakenly consider Hepatitis as Jaundice and take OTC medicines related to it. So, it is very important to educate people about the severity of Hepatitis and its adverse effects. It is crucial to understand the implications of this fatal disease as it can seriously damage the liver and cause other serious health problems.”
Gaurav Jain, SVP, South Asia, Reckitt, said, “Hepatitis is a highly preventable disease which can be beaten if vulnerable groups are provided the right information at the right time. By bringing experts on board to educate adolescents on hepatitis, Durex led ‘The Birds and Bees Talk’ campaign is helping adolescents and youth with the right tools to protect themselves by raising awareness and encouraging them to make health a priority.”
Mohammed Asif, Executive Director, Plan India, said, “We aim to inform the adolescents and community members with knowledge on prevention strategies, which is one of the pillars of our program. We believe that adolescents and young people must be enabled, equipped and empowered to participate in their own development and therefore raising their awareness on hepatitis related illnesses, is an important public health intervention.”
The webinar was chaired by Ms. Diana Khumanthem, IAS, DC Imphal East, Manipur, Mrs. Koing Samon Umbon, DDSE, Namsai, Dr. Tope Yomcha, District Reproductive Child Health Officer, NHM, a recipient of the State Gold Medal for improving immunization status in Changlang District in Arunachal Pradesh, and Dr. Banikanta, Influencer, a Consultant Physician & Diabetologist and a renowned YouTuber who creates live webinars and videos to bridge the gap between medical science and the general public.