Megastar Amitabh Bachchan on 13 March 2015 was roped in as the brand ambassador for Union Government’s campaign against Hepatitis B, a critical public problem in India.
Bachchan was roped in as the brand ambassador for India’s fight against Hepatitis B after his successful stint as UNICEF’s goodwill brand ambassador of pulse polio campaign in India.
The campaign against Hepatitis B will be launched in April 2015. The campaign is a part of the Union Government’s ambitious child immunization programme named Mission Indradhanush, against seven vaccine-preventable diseases.
Besides Hepatitis B, Mission Indradhanush will include diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, tuberculosis and measles. The government aims to achieve the target by 2020.
Earlier, Bachchan was made a UNICEF goodwill brand ambassador for the Polio Eradication Campaign in 2005. He was roped in as the brand ambassador for pulse polio campaign after the number of polio cases peaked across India in the year 2002.
The pulse polio campaign helped in eradicating the disease from India and on 27 March 2014, World Health Organization (WHO) declared India a polio free country with no case of disease being reported in the previous three years.
Status of Hepatitis B in India
According to latest World Health Organisation (WHO) data, Hepatitis B is responsible for 1.4 million deaths every year globally. India has over 40 million hepatitis B infected patients (second only to China) and constitutes about 15 percent of the entire pool of hepatitis B in the world. Every year, nearly 600000 patients die from HBV (hepatitis B virus) infection in the Indian subcontinent.
Who: Amitabh Bachchan
When: 13 March 2015