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September , 2017
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Cheerful school children from Geetanjali during the Awareness walk! Credits: Pavani

July 28th of every year (since 2001) is being observed as the Hepatitis B Eradication Day across the globe, since it coincides with the birthday of the Nobel Laureate, Professor B. S. Blumberg, who discovered the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV) and was the first scientist to develop a vaccine against the deadly disease. (Picture: Cheerful school children from Geetanjali during the Awareness walk! Credits: Pavani)

Hepatitis B is a disease caused by the Hepatitis B Virus (HBV), which results in the inflammation of the liver in humans, called Hepatitis. This acute illness causes liver inflammation, vomiting, jaundice and may lead to even death! The other types of Hepatitis diseases are Hepatitis A, C, D, E, F,G, of which Hepatitis B is the most common. The Hepatitis B Virus is a Hepadnavirus. The vaccinations are given in 3 doses for children – 2 or 3 days after the birth of a child, when the child is 6 – 18 months of age and when he is 2 – 5 years old or given as booster doses in case of adults.

Enthusiastic participants during the Awareness Rally, walking past Hyderabad Central! Credits: Tulsi

Enthusiastic participants during the Awareness Rally, walking past Hyderabad Central! Credits: Tulsi

On this occasion, our very own Nizam’s Institute of Medical Sciences (NIMS), located at Punjagutta, came up with some really interesting activities for school and college students of the twin cities to spread awareness regarding the disease. The Institute, with the help of its esteemed faculty, students and dedicated doctors, came out with exciting poster and seminar presentation contests. In addition to it, there was a panel discussion for these students with a distinguished team Gastroenterologists from across the state and an awareness walk by all the students from the Institute to the Khairtabad X Roads to enlighten people about the pathogen city of such diseases.

The participants left no stone unturned to make their posters a success! Credits: Priti

The participants left no stone unturned to make their posters a success! Credits: Priti

The programme got off to a great start with the walk, which was undertaken by several of the city’s leading colleges. St.Anns, St.Mary’s, Bhavan’s College, Loyola, Bhavan’s St. Francis, Nizam’s, Wesley, Aurora were some among them. Several schools like Geetanjali, Bhavan’s, Obul Reddy, Little Flower, St. George’s, St. Joseph’s, St. Ann’s, Chirec and Oakridge had also taken an active part. “It’s a proud moment for all us, young students, to be part of such a grand event, supporting a noble cause. Thanks to the management and Mrs. Naina Joshi, the chief co-ordinator of the Women’s Cell of NIMS, we got to know about many new things!” exclaims Ramya of Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan’s Vidyashram, Jubilee Hills. It was a delight to watch the youth of Hyderabad parading through the roads shouting slogans and carrying banners and placards supporting this cause.
Chandana at her creative best! Credits: Priti

Chandana at her creative best! Credits: Priti

The next session was that of the poster and seminar presentation. A total of a 34 groups from various science and nursing colleges presented their models and posters, some of which were extremely vibrant and colorful. The panel of judges comprisedof Microbiology lecturers from various colleges, around 20 doctors from NIMS, headed by Dr. Suresh and Dr. Venugopal Rao and Dr. Nageshwar Reddy and the Director of the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology. They had a tough time choosing the best 3 models. The first prize was bagged by St. Ann’s College, the second prize by Bhavan’s College and the third by Aurora College. The winners were given certificates, mementos and cash awards as tokens of appreciation and encouragement. “This was indeed a great learning experience for all of us. At this level, we require exposure to boost our confidence levels and NIMS has done the same!” opines Pavani from St. Ann’s, one of the winners. “Not only have we learnt a lot about this viral infection but we also got to experience the true spirit of competition and realised the value of team work”, says Vipul, a biotechnology student from Aurora.

The eye-catchy prize winning poster! Credits: Pavani

The eye-catchy prize winning poster! Credits: Pavani

The final session of the programme was the round of Panel Discussion wherein the best gastroentrologists from the state answered numerous queries posed by the general public, the patients and the students. The various methods to prevent Hepatitis B, like the injection of drugs into one’s body, avoiding alcohol, proper and careful transfusions of blood and other body fluids, taking 3 doses of the vaccination, sterilizing the blood samples and syringes while working in the Pathology Laboratory etc. were put forward and discussed. “The discussion was definitely an eye opener for the layman. In spite of us being biology students, we’ve realized that what we know is just the tip of the ice berg!”, chuckles Meghali, a participant from St. Ann’s who found the discussion extremely informative.

This eventful programme came to an end with the injection of free dosages of vaccinations to all the poor patients, who could not afford the same in a bid to eradicate the Hepatitis Virus completely from the face of this earth!

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2 Responses to “Beware of the Big B(imari)!”

  1. Satish Mantha says:

    noble cause, indeed. glad to see such events being organised for quite some time now. it was polio yesterday, time for HB maybe. would like some others to be eliminated parallelly, though. too much to ask for?

  2. srikyreddy says:

    student’s means not only known for reading ,bunking but also work for noble cause ………to create awareness in the society.
    g8 job..

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