In an attempt to raise awareness about hepatitis and at the same time save as many people as possible from its deadly effects, a special screening and vaccination camp was organised at the Ramakrishna Mission Students Home on Sunday.
On a day when World Hepatitis Day was observed globally, as many as 700 comprising school and polytechnic students, staying in the home, underwent screening and were given vaccines for Hepatitis ‘B’ at the free camp.
It was conducted jointly by the Indian Society of Gastroenterology, Tamil Nadu Chapter, World Gastroenterology Organisation and Ramakrishna Mission.
Dr V Santharam, Vice-Chancellor, Tamil Nadu Dr MGR Medical University discussed the disease and the ways to prevent it. He said one-third of the population was affected by it, out of which 15 percent of the people were in a critical stage. He also addressed the importance of vaccination and when it had to be given.
Stressing the need to stay healthy, Venugopal, director, The Hindu, reminded the students that prevention was better than cure. “Doctors have come up with medicines and vaccines that prevent some diseases. Listen to your doctors and follow their guidelines,” the director advised the students.
Swami Satyajnanananda, secretary, Ramakrishna Mission Students’ Home highlighted the importance of awareness and also advised the students that it was their duty to learn all about hepatitis and spread the message.
A team of 20 post graduates from Omayal Achi College of Nursing conducted the screening and vaccination. “In the US and Taiwan, newborns are given vaccine. The Tamil Nadu government is conducting a pilot project,” said Dr K R Palanisamy, Senior Consultant Gastroenterologist.
Anandan from Tiruthani, a polytechnic student, said he knew nothing about hepatitis until he attended the camp. “I understood what it is after I attended the function. I will definitely get vaccinated,” the student said.