There has been a huge amount of support for the hepatitis C awareness campaign from both the South Asian community and stars from TV, film, radio and music. The hepatitis C team have been visiting Mela’s across the country to raise hepatitis C awareness and have collected handprints from all the people who support the campaign. Read some of the messages of support below.
Dr Saket Singhal (a spokesperson for the South Asian Health Foundation – SAHF):
"We strongly support this initiative as there is evidence that chronic hepatitis C infection is more common in the South Asian population. It is therefore, of vital importance that both the public and healthcare professional providers are aware of hepatitis C and the potential dangers to health posed by this virus."
Sir Liam Donaldson (Chief Medical Officer):
"South Asian people are at increased risk of hepatitis C infection. It can take many years or even decades for symptoms to appear, and if left untreated can lead to liver damage and premature death. The good news is that there is effective treatment that can help many people. So it's vital that people who may have been at risk of infection seek medical advice and get tested."
"I’m delighted to be part of a campaign such as this. I want to help to draw as much attention as possible to hepatitis C, as I have seen firsthand the needless suffering of a close family member, a friend and a colleague from this infection. I urge my fellow Pakistanis and anyone who thinks they may have been exposed to the virus to contact their GP and ask for a test. Please take extra measures to protect yourself and your loved ones. Watch, listen, read, be aware and save lives."
"The best way to tackle hepatitis C is to increase awareness and understanding of the transmission routes of the infection. I’m supporting this campaign to do just that – the more you know the better."
"We all have a responsibility to ensure that we help create awareness of important health issues within our community. Most people who have the hepatitis C virus have no signs or symptoms at all for many years – so it is even more critical to draw attention to this virus. I’m proudly supporting this campaign because I see this as my duty."
"Knowledge is power – I believe this and that’s why I am supporting this campaign – Hepatitis C – the more you know, the better."