Prof Shwapnil becomes WHO expert panel member

Bangladesh’s leading hepatologist Prof Mamun Al Mahtab (Shwapnil) has become the member of the WHO’s expert panel on hepatitis elimination in the Southeast Asia region.

The WHO Southeast Asia Regional Office (SEARO) informed him about the selection in a letter and said the ‘Strategic and technical Advisory Group (STAG)’ on viral hepatitis would “benefit greatly from your contribution”.

Prof Shwapnil is the chairman of the Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Medical University’s liver department. He is also a Visiting Professor at the Department of Gastroenterology & Metabology, Ehime University in Japan.

The Regional Director for WHO SEARO constituted the STAG for getting high level technical inputs for elimination of hepatitis B and C from the region by 2030.

There are 100 million people living with chronic hepatitis B and 30 million people living with chronic hepatitis C in the WHO South-East Asia Region which has 11 Member States - Bangladesh, Bhutan, North Korea, India, Indonesia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste. 

The objective of the STAG is to provide high-level technical inputs based on scientific evidence and public health approach, in order to enable the South-East Asia region to reach its target of eliminating viral hepatitis by 2030.  “In view of your expertise and experience in the field of hepatitis, we have great pleasure to invite you to be part of the STAG. 

The membership is an honorary one and initially till December 2021 but can be extended / modified as required,” read the WHO letter to Prof Shwapnil.

 Apart from academic and research activities, Prof Shwapnil is actively involved in professional and social associations.

He is four times elected Secretary General of Association for the Study of the Liver Diseases Bangladesh (ASLDB), the national Hepatology Association of Bangladesh.

He is also founder President of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hepatology Alumni Association and Executive Chairman of Forum for the Study of the Liver Bangladesh.

Prof Shwapnil is the founder General Secretary of Bangladesh Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Society.

 He is also the Secretary General of Samprity Bangladesh, a citizen platform promoting secularism in the country.