About five crore people in the country suffer from Nonalcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH), health experts said on Wednesday. NASH, a liver disease, remains predominately unknown in the public because it is a silent disease, displaying no symptoms, meaning that most patients with NASH are not diagnosed.
Nash is also underdiagnosed because it is difficult to detect due to the lack of simple, accurate and cost-effective diagnostic solutions.
Among the total infected people with NASH, 18 million people suffer from liver cirrhosis. With almost zero awareness, people will be at risk of severe health shortly, predicts a study by Forum for the Study of Liver.
It warned that millions of livers – and lives are at stake. Millions of people can- and must – do something before it is too late, the study strongly recommended. Speakers disclosed the above information at a round table conference organized by Forum for the Study of the Liver, Bangladesh held at the National Press Club on Wednesday, on the occasion of the 2nd International Nash Day.
Speakers said that Nash is not mainly caused by alcohol or drug. In this disease, one of the parts of the human body spoils liver functioning. If it is not prevented at the right time, then the liver's working ability to function will lose slowly, which also causes liver cancer. Common people are not aware of this disease because there are no external symptoms in the initial stage. That is why there is no alternative to raising awareness.
Journalists and media have with uncontrolled lifestyle and they are at great risk too. One of the major reasons why fatty acids attack liver is it comes from fast food and rich food like biriyani, beef, and mutton. Fast food causes liver cirrhosis and obesity as well. In such circumstances, media has a big role to play in awareness through different programs and write-ups.
Former secretary Nasir Uddin said that public safety and public health should be ensured. Increasing awareness of avoiding fast food, adulterated food will be our major focus if we want to live healthily. He said that 88 percent of the medicines are sold without prescriptions. How is it possible, he questioned. Adulterated food is one of the main reasons for liver failure.
Maj Gen (retd) Mohammad Ali Shikdar said, the quality of food in the western countries is well maintained and so people do not get sick so easily. But emerging businessmen in our country are making a profit without following any ethics. If the state does not pay attention, then the adulteration will make our life even worse and public health will be under threat. The state has a strong role to play in maintaining quality.
Pujush Bandyopadhya, President of the Association Sampriti Bangladesh, said that awareness should be aimed at changing lifestyle as people tend to follow western life rather than the traditional.
Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Vice-Chancellor Professor Kanak Kanti Barua said, "We must ensure the highest punishment for food adulteration in Bangladesh. Limited capacity for regulation should not be our excuse." Nash is a silent killer. To prevent this disease awareness should be increased.”