The incidence of fatty liver disease is witnessing a worrying rise in India, posing a potential risk of a surge in non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as Diabetes and Heart ailments. The ‘Illness to Wellness’ campaign, a national awareness programme aimed at promoting healthy living, suggests a mix of healthy habits, a balanced diet, and exercise to tackle the rapid rise in fatty liver disease.
Fatty liver is a medical condition that results in excessive fat accumulation in the liver cells, leading to potential health risks. It is closely associated with lifestyle factors such as poor dietary habits, sedentary lifestyle, and obesity. The disease can lead to serious consequences if left unaddressed, including an increased risk of developing NCDs such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and liver complications.
Efforts are being made to raise awareness of the disease with several public health campaigns and initiatives targeted at tackling this growing burden and improving the overall health of Indians. Timely detection is essential to significantly reduce the impact of fatty liver disease on individuals and the healthcare ecosystem as a whole.
In this direction, the Parliamentary Research & Training Institute for Democracies and the Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) organised an awareness session on World Hepatitis Day on 28th July 2023 in the Parliament House Annexe. The theme for the year 2023 being ‘One Life, One Liver’ reiterates the fact that hepatitis, if not controlled, can devastate both.The Hon’ble Speaker Lok Sabha, Sh. Om Birla, Hon’ble Minister of MoH&FW, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya and other parliamentarians joined hands to celebrate this day. The event was also graced by the presence of Sh. Harivansh Narayan Singh, Dy. Chairman of Rajya Sabha, Sh. Utpal Kumar Singh, Sec. General Lok Sabha, Prof. SK Sarin, Director ILBS and other eminent guests and industry stalwarts.
The Hon’ble Minister of MoH&FW, Chemicals and Fertilizers, Dr. Mansukh Mandaviya highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and prompt management in eliminating the threat of fatty liver and hepatitis. and urged the citizens to monitor their lifestyle choices and holistic health.
The Hon’ble Speaker Lok Sabha, Sh. Om Birla stressed on the need for elected representatives to take upon the responsibility of taking liver health awareness to the masses. He suggested that stake-holders and policy makers should get better awareness regarding fatty liver diseases and hepatitis so that the fight against liver diseases can be taken forward.
Renowned gastroenterologist Dr SK Sarin and Director ILBS, addressed the parliamentarians and said that one in three Indians today suffer from excess fat in their livers. He emphasised the importance of screening for fatty liver disease and encouraged everyone to pledge their support to keep their own liver healthy and also those of their families and friends. He alerted the dignitaries and audience present about the silent nature of fatty liver disease and stated that one in five fatty liver related deaths in the world is from India. He stressed on the importance of healthy diet and lifestyle choices for preventing and treating fatty liver diseases.
On this occasion the association of the ‘Illness to Wellness’ campaign, with the EMPATHY Campaign (Empowering People Against Hepatitis) by ILBS which aims to generate awareness about Hepatitis B and C across India and create an enabling environment for individuals with hepatitis B & C was also announced. This partnership will strengthen collective efforts towards eliminating Hepatitis B and C and will promote the benefits of good health in leading prosperous and fulfilling lives.