Research Meeting on HCV Among Rohingya Refugees at KL, Malaysia
03 Jun 2019
Prof. Mohammad Ali, Secretary General of National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh (NLFB) attended the conference of “International Research Meeting on Source & Spread of HCV Among Rohingya Refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh”, 27-28 May 2019, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He was invited by Dr. Athi Sivan T Mariappan Program Chief Coordinator of Malaysian, International & Embracing The World Initiatives for Hepatitis C Relief among Rohingya Refugees. Regional and Global experts related to the control of viral hepatitis participated in the conference. Mr. Zunaid Murshed Paiker, chief coordinator of NLFB also attended. Prof. Mohammad Ali was the keynote speaker of the conference. In his speech, he described the existing devastating situation of Rohingya Refugees. One of the greatest human tragedy. United Nation declared them as victims of Ethnic Cleansing. Bangladesh Govt. offering them shelter in spite of their lot of hardships. He acknowledged and informed the participants about the humanitarian gesture of Hon. Prime Minister of Bangladesh. Prof Ali described his objective & initialization of first Hepatitis B & C screening of 300 pregnant Rohingya refugees on Oct. 21, 2017. This was conducted under the ongoing “NOhep” campaign of NLFB. He informed the result in his presentation at the World Hepatitis Summit in Brazil on November 1-3, 2017. Global community exhibited their concern after first knowing the high prevalence of hepatitis C among pregnant Rohingya refugees. National Liver Foundation of Bangladesh with the partnership of Malaysian, International & Embracing The World Initiatives for Hepatitis C Relief among Rohingya Refugees organized a Hepatitis B & C Screening program of 2000 Rohingya refugees of all ages on Feb 4-7 and 14, 2019. High incidence of hepatitis C noted among the adult age group, especially adult women. The prevalence of hepatitis C among adult women is much higher than their country of origin – Myanmar, the host country – Bangladesh and even global perspective. They are in urgent need of mass awareness, testing & treating. Most crucial to find out the root cause(s) of the high prevalence of hepatitis C among adult Rohingya refugee women. Distinguished participants decided to make the research protocol based on the outcome of this screening result. Prof. Ali urged all the participants, experts & global community to come forward to control the situation as a humanitarian gesture.