SIMS Hospital and Thozhi successfully kickstarts Free Hepatitis Vaccination Camp For Transgenders In The City
~ Organized as part of the World Immunization Week, the camp aims to create awareness about the importance of hepatitis vaccination ~
In line with World Immunization Week 2022, SIMS Hospitals successfully kickstarted a free Hepatitis B vaccination drive in association with Chennai based organisation, Thozhi for the transgender community in Chetpet, Chennai. The camp organized today, highlighted the urgent need of tailored prevention along with an awareness session. With an aim to provide 1000 free Hepatitis B vaccinations to the transgender community, this special drive will continue till May 5th, 2022, further at SIMS Hospitals. The event was flagged off by Ms. Namitha Marimuthu, Actor and Social Activist and Dr. Kuganantham P, Head of Department, Social Medicines, SIMS Hospitals.
Hepatitis B is a life-threatening liver illness caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which can become chronic and persist for more than six months. Chronic hepatitis B raises the risk of liver failure, cancer, and cirrhosis, a scarring of the liver that lasts a lifetime. WHO estimates that 296 million people were living with chronic hepatitis B infection in 2019, with 1.5 million new infections each year and over 1,15,000 Indians die as a result of hepatitis B-related complications. SIMS Hospitals, in collaboration with Thozhi are working to create community knowledge about the virus in order to protect the public health while also tackling the stigmas that surround it, with this drive.
Inaugurating the drive, Ms. Namitha Marimuthu, Actor and Social Activist said, “I am glad to be a part of this vaccination camp and I would like to congratulate SIMS Hospitals for having taken this wonderful initiative for the transgender community. Most people are unaware of the risks of not being vaccinated with Hepatitis B and I am happy that with this drive, awareness has been raised for the condition.”
Commenting on the occasion, Dr. Raju Sivaswamy, Vice President, SIMS Hospital said “We are striving to create an awareness on Hepatitis B since such vaccines are usually given to children, but adults require a revaccination of one or two boosters owing to the risk of an infection, in the later stages. Hence SIMS is trying to reach out to these segments of people to proffer preventive and prophylactic care along with raising awareness on the importance of the vaccine.”
Thozhi works towards creating an equitable environment for the Transgender community, having the same quality services like others and be able seek support , especially in terms of healthcare when in need. Thozhi recognises that achieving this goal will require a greater understanding of the community and their experiences, and strives to raise awareness for the same.