Amitabh Bachchan appointed WHO hepatitis ambassador in Southeast Asia

WHO announced in a statement that the veteran actor has been brought on board to boost awareness and intensify action to arrest the Hepatitis epidemic.

By Zee Media Bureau | Updated: May 12, 2017, 15:54 PM IST
Amitabh Bachchan appointed WHO hepatitis ambassador in Southeast Asia

New Delhi: Bollywood actor Amitabh Bachchan was on Friday appointed the WHO Goodwill Ambassador for the Hepatitis awareness programme in southeast Asia region.

The celebrated Indian actor, who himself is a conqueror of Hepatitis B, says nobody should suffer from the disease.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced in a statement that the veteran actor has been brought on board to boost awareness and intensify action to arrest the Hepatitis epidemic.

"I am absolutely committed to the cause of Hepatitis. As a person living with Hepatitis-B, I know the pain and sufferings that Hepatitis causes. No one should ever suffer from viral Hepatitis," Amitabh said.

The actor, in his capacity, will lend his voice and support to public awareness programmes that aim to scale up preventive measures and advocate for early diagnosis and treatment of viral Hepatitis to reduce the disease burden.

“This association is expected to help strengthen WHO's efforts in reducing the high numbers of premature deaths and illnesses from viral Hepatitis which is not only causing hardships to individuals and families, but also impacting health and development across the region,”

Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director for WHO southeast Asia, said Mr Bachchan's association with WHO will to help strengthen the UN health agency's efforts in reducing the high numbers of premature deaths and illnesses from viral Hepatitis which is not only causing hardships to individuals and families, but also impacting health and development across the region.

"Mr Bachchan's voice is one that is listened to by people across the country, regardless of cultural, social or economic background and can make real change possible. We have witnessed this in polio eradication," Union Health Minister JP Nadda said in a video message.

Amitabh had earlier served as Unicef Goodwill Ambassador for the polio eradication campaign in India, and has been supporting and promoting various health and related issues in the country such as childhood immunisation programme, anti-tuberculosis campaign and ‘Clean India' initiative.

The actor, who had suffered from tuberculosis and overcame the disease, launched a mobile application named 'ABC of Breast Health', which provides detailed information about breast cancer in 12 Indian languages in March.

(With IANS inputs)