On the occasion of World Hepatitis Day, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla chaired the event ‘Empathy Conclave 2020’, organized by the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (IBLS) and Airports Authority of India, in Parliament House today. The theme of this year’s event was ‘Keep your liver safe in times of COVID 19.’ The event was attended by Members of Parliament and other dignitaries, who joined the Conclave through Video Conferencing. Lok Sabha Speaker and Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Dr. Harsh Vardhan physically attended the programme from the Speaker’s Chamber in the Parliament House.
Speaking on the occasion, Birla mentioned that in these difficult times of COVID-19, the Government has taken comprehensive steps to reduce the impact of the pandemic and the results have been encouraging. He hoped that a vaccine for this disease would be discovered soon. Birla said that he had great faith in the strength and resilience of the people, and asserted that “The path to victory can be difficult but never impossible.”
Birla also underlined responsibility of public representatives to spread awareness about liver disease amongst all the people. He added that Hepatitis is a very serious challenge that can be overcome only with collective effort and resolve, and for this, role of public representatives especially Members of Parliament becomes very crucial. Observing that the care and safety of liver during difficult times of COVID-19 are important, he emphasized that it is lawmakers’ duty to sensitize and make the fight against the pandemic a mass movement.
He also mentioned that the year 2030 has been set for the eradication of this Hepatitis and hoped that India would be able to meet this important objective.
Birla commended the role played by Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) in the fight against Hepatitis B and C, and thanked Dr. S.K. Sarin, Director, ILBS for his dedication to the cause of eradication of liver diseases in India.
Speaking on the occasion Dr. Harsh Vardhan thanked Shri Birla for providing such a platform for the eradication of Hepatitis and for or giving his wholehearted support to this cause. He added that the Government has announced a 15000 crore health package to deal with the Coronavirus crisis. He also mentioned that the Finance Commission has agreed to include a special chapter related to health financing in its report.
Earlier, Dr S.K. Sarin, Director, Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences welcomed the participants and gave a short presentation on the importance of liver health and the scale of Hepatitis infections in India. He mentioned that liver health is directly linked to diseases like diabetes, hypertension and heart disease, thus it is extremely important to take care of the liver.