New Delhi: With cases of liver disorders showing an increase in the country, President Pranab Mukherjee asked the medical fraternity to create public awareness in wake of WHO reports which have termed liver cancers as the second-most common cause of cancer-related deaths globally.
Addressing the sixth foundation day of Institute of Liver and Biliary Sciences (ILBS) here, Mukherjee, while expressing concern over the growing number of cases of liver diseases, asked leading doctors in this field to develop the “best clinical protocols and operational systems in specialised liver care in line with global standards”.
“The liver is one of the vital organs of the human body. It is in a sense our metabolic factory and master regulator since everything we ingest first goes to the intestines and then the liver. The bacteria in our gut, sense, process and modulate our life.
“It is, therefore, a matter of great concern that liver diseases today are as common, if not more, than heart diseases. They constitute a huge burden on our country, but sadly, public awareness and associated treatment and research facilities in respect of these are not quite as optimal,” he said.
He said hepatitis, alcohol usage and obesity injure the liver the most which is at times irreparable.
“The increasing number of lives lost to liver diseases and the growing need for liver transplantation in our country are ready pointers to the increasing incidence of liver diseases in our population,” he said.
The event also marked the third convocation of ILBS, an autonomous institute established by the Delhi government.
The President awarded degrees to the passing out scholars and lauded ILBS Director Dr S K Sarin and the institute, one of the exclusive facilities in this domain, for treating over 87,000 patients in the year gone by and undertaking 283 liver transplants and 85 renal transplants since its creation.
“I am told that the late Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, former President of India, was the first Chancellor of the ILBS. Needless to say, his vision for India and his spirit of optimism would continue to remain a source of eternal inspiration for students and faculty,” he said.
He complimented the institute for taking a lead in undertaking organ donation programmes.
“While it has already started renal transplant services, it also intends to move forward on organ banking and developing a national referral and advanced liver and gall bladder cancer centre.
“A facility of this kind is an imperative given that liver cancers constitute the second-most common cause of cancer- related deaths in the world as per the WHO release of 2014,” he said and added that it was heartening to note that ILBS has already been designated as a World Health Organisation Collaborating Centre on Viral Hepatitis and Liver Diseases. NES SKL SC