NOhep Villager: Liver Foundation, West Bengal

Liver Foundation, West Bengal (LFWB) is a Non-Government, charitable organisation playing a pivotal role in fulfilling the need of placement liver disease as a priority in the country.  Initiated in 2006 by a group of Liver specialists, clinicians with an interest in liver diseases, academicians with social commitment and social activists – the organisation has spread its’ function in different  states of the country. This is mainly through programmatic activities in Liver disease awareness, demystification campaigns and research on Liver Disease Burden in India. LFWB developed the first Hepatitis Patients’ Forum (HEP B & C) in the country and the present member strength is about 1800.

What do you plan to do at your booth in the NOhep Village?

We will use audio-visual equipment and other display materials for decoration and use the pledge instrument to interact with the attendees. We are also planning to display our CP3 model during the exhibition. Leaflets will be distributed to the attendees (on program description, dissemination of information on various outcomes, sharing of data, etc.) as well as other merchandise prepared by the HEP B & C patients (greetings card, handkerchiefs etc.)

What do you hope delegates will learn from your booth?

I hope it will be a great learning and sharing experience during the conference.  Sharing of best practices would be an important objective of this global hepatitis elimination movement. We plan to engage with the conference delegates in different ways. We will showcase our activities in various forms, will share our data, and will explain the outcomes. As media is the mirror of the society and is the most important key to reach a large number of people to spread awareness, engagement of local media (of our country) with delegates through Skype / phone call (if possible) will be an agenda in the exhibition booth.

What will make your booth stand out?

We have developed different awareness tools (ensuring the hepatitis protection, prevention and management), conducting different activities in the communities round the year engaging people at large. Pledge to prevent Hepatitis, Unite in diversity- prevent hepatitis- these two programs in recent times became very successful where raising awareness is the central to the idea to prevent viral hepatitis. We have also launched two e-health movements to eliminate hepatitis, www.tacklehepatitis.org for the student community and another one for the patients (HEP b & C) named www.ifighthepatitis.org. We have developed the first Hepatitis Patients’ Forum in the country with an objective “From clinic to doorstep – A patient Empowerment and advocacy platform for a comprehensive social security” and we have also ensured the treatment (medicine at a lower cost) and diagnostic (cost reduction laboratory) access to the patients of this support group. I think these will be of interest to the delegates.

What are you most looking forward to about the Global Hepatitis Summit?

Effective networking, more learning, new ideas and showcasing of our activities and outcomes.

How will exhibiting in the NOhep Village benefit your organisation?

“Think globally, act locally” urges people to consider the health of the entire planet and to take action in their own communities and cities. Long before governments began enforcing environmental laws, individuals were coming together to protect habitats and the organisms that live within them. These efforts are referred to as grassroots efforts. They occur on a local level and are primarily run by volunteers and helpers.” (From Wikipedia). This has happened exactly in case of global hepatitis prevention program. The World Hepatitis Alliance has taken the main initiative much before the strategic declaration of viral hepatitis elimination program in 2016 by the World Health Organisation. As we also subscribe the concept “Think global, act local”, we are partnering the NOhep program. Therefore, participation in the NOhep village will enrich us in day to day community engagement, will be an excellent opportunity to network with other organisations and key influencers which will help in program planning to eliminate hepatitis by 2030.

How have you worked with the scientific community in the past?

I did PhD and trained in public health monitoring & evaluation and do research in the field of population health.  I carried out 20 projects, attended 25 conferences and delivered 15 lectures in overseas (USA, Brazil, Scotland, South Africa, Taiwan, Hong Kong etc.). I am engaged in Health education (particularly hepatitis prevention & protection) and published 27 research articles. I am one of the founders of Hepatitis Patients’ Forum of LFWB, planned different programmatic activity and developed different awareness tool particularly with regard to Hepatitis Prevention. We (Liver Foundation, West Bengal) organized Kolkata Liver Meeting 6 times, which is a very hardcore scientific international conference.  I was also the reviewer of the American Public Health Association and the American Planning Association in the recent past.

To find out more about the work Liver Foundation are doing visit their website.